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CHILDREN'S BOOK 
COLLECTION 



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LIBRARY OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 



aribnte: 







Frontispiece to "Ostentation, and Liberality! 




I came to Tetnrn -you thmVWg ma'am", said ^>F. B 
Damson, curtsVing; to IMifs Colvitte; 'yonr Tadnd 
ix lias sa^ed me and mine n?om. 



OSTENTATION 

AND 

LIBERALITY. 




BY ARABELLA ARGUS, 

AUTHOR OF "THE JUVENILE SPECTATOR," THE 

" ADVENTURES OF A DONKEY," 

AND OTHER WORKS. 



There is in Virtue sure a hidden charm, 
To force esteem, and Envy to disarm. 

Duchess of Devonshire to Fenelon. 




LONDON : 

WILLIAM BARTON, 58, HOLBORN HILL. 

Price Four Shillings and Sixpence. 



OSTENTATION AND LIBERALITY. 



A TALE. 



"WELL, I have seen your paragon of 
excellence," said Frances Austen; 
"and I know you will say I am preju- 
diced: but indeed, my dear Miss Col- 
ville, I do not think so much of her." 

" So much, and so little, are rela- 
tive terms," replied Miss Colville, 
smiling, "and, when applied to cha- 
racter, often mislead us. But, who is 
this wonder? I do not recollect such 
a being in my small circle of friends." 

"Why, who could it be but Lady 
Jane?" returned Frances : "you will 
not understand me; and I am certain, 
before I say another word, you will 
think I am prejudiced." 
'"Not unless I find you so," said 



Miss Colville; "yet allow me to ob- 
serve, my dear, that the mind is not at 
all times equally open for the reception 
of the most obvious truths ; as such, 
suppose we defer this subject till to- 
morrow?'' 

"It is not yet eight o'clock," ob- 
served Frances; "and I thought you 
would like to hear of Lady Jane." 

"1 can have no objection to hear 
of Lady Jane's having had the plea- 
sure of meeting you at her aunt's," 
returned Miss Colville: "you know it 
has been my wish that you should see 
her ; not because she was a ' paragon 
of excellence ;' but simply, because I 
was persuaded that such an unaffected 
and amiable girl was a desirable ac- 
quaintance for you." 

"Now you are laughing," said 
Frances, twist kig her bonnet-strings 
as she spoke: "could such a learn- 
ed lady think it pleasure to meet 
me? And indeed, my clear Miss Col- 
ville, though I dare say Lady Jane 



was not affected when you knew her, 
I can assure you she is very much so 
now." 

" Indeed ! then I do not wonder you 
should not like her so much;" said 
Miss Colville; "for affectation is not 
more ridiculous than disfiguring." 

" We agree in that, at least," quick- 
ly observed Frances; "and, as Lady 
Jane is not at all pretty, of course, one 
sees ifc more. You understand me?" 

"Not exactly," returned Miss Col- 
ville; " but, when you have explained 
how this unfortunate change in my 
former pupil shews itself, I shall perhaps 
catch your meaning." 

" Oh !" said Frances, "I could not 
possibly do that ; you would say I was 
ill-natured, or too observant." 

" No, I should not," returned Miss 
Colville; " on the contrary, my dear, it 
is only by close observation such disco- 
veries are made. You perhaps have 
a talent for this sort of analysis; and, 
as I do not think you would meditate 
A 3 



the indulgence of ill-nature, I rather 
expect information from your detail." 

Frances looked disconcerted; but 
that frx> ward ness, which it is so diffi- 
cult to repress when the mind has 
taken a wrong bias, urged her on; and 
with some vehemence she observed, 
44 Then you do not call it affectation, to 
blush, and deny that she plays well 
upon the piano, when all the time she 
knows she does? / call it great af- 
fectation." 

" I see nothing in this," said Miss 
Colville, "but the usage of the world ; 
a practice which, unlike many to 
which we conform, is perfectly con- 
sistent with humility. Let me ask you, 
my dear child, what would you say, 
had Lady Jane received these praises 
as a matter of course; and by her silence 
assented to their purport: what would 
you say?" 

"That she was very vain, to be sure, " 
replied Frances. 

"Then, what should be dope*" in- 



quired Miss Colviile : "I am persuaded 
she did not say much upon these sub- 
jects. 'J 

" Xot a great deal," said Frances; 
"and I suppose she thought she must 
pay Charlotte Percival a compliment in 
return, for she praised her performance 
extravagantly." 

" Then, " said Miss Colviile, " Miss 
Percival is not a good performer : Lady 
Jane was civil at the expense of truth ?" 

"Indeed," returned Frances, " I 
think Charlotte plays delightfully for 
her age; but I am sure Lady Jane 
could not think so much of it. " 

"Why not?" inquired Miss Col- 
viile. "Do you draw this conclusion 
from your own idea of Lady Jane's su- 
perior talent for music ; or do you pos- 
sess the power of knowing people's 
thoughts?" 

"1 am sure you know what I 
would say," retorted Frances ; " only 
you will iiot: I never knew you so 
teazing." 



" It would be difficult to compre- 
hend your meaning," said Miss Col- 
ville; "but I am sorry to add, that 
you have afforded me more than one 
reason for believing that you are 
prejudiced against an entire stranger; 
and" 

"My dear Miss Colville," inter- 
rupted Frances, with an increased ener- 
gy of manner, "why do you judge 
so hastily ? Lady Jane must be altered, 
very much altered; for she is not only 
affected, but ostentatious, and full of 
what she does, and how she spends her 
pocket-money: you never heard any 
thing so pompous in your life. Only 
listen to me, and then you will allow I 
am right," 

"1 will hear your little sketch to- 
morrow, my dear," returned Miss 
Colville ; " it is now late : retire, 
Frances, with the assurance that I am 
disposed to be impartial; and seriously 
anxious that my former, as well as my 
4 



present pupil, may pass through this 
projected scrutiny with credit." 

Frances obeyed, half glad to escape 
an elucidation that was becoming more 
intricate every moment. She did not 
resign the contest altogether ; no, she 
belived she possessed facts that would 
bear out her position ; and she was but 
too well aware, that the warmth of her 
manner had somewhat embarrassed her 
delineation. To-morrow she should 
be more equal to the task; and Miss 
Colville, who had (as she thought) 
teazed her, might perhaps be better 
disposed to listen to her statement. 

The morrow arrived. Frances had 
had time to reflect: many of the points 
on which she could have descanted 
with perfect ease, now seemed trivial: 
in fact, she regretted having fixed a 
period for a discussion she would 
most willingly have absolved herself 
from, had it been posssible : but it 
would look as if she really was preju- 
diced : and she was sure that she was 



10 



not. Why should she feel preju- 
diced, or wish to decry the merits of 
Lady Jane? it was quite ridiculous. 
Thus self-assured, she desended to the 
breakfast-room. 

Miss Colville saw in the counte- 
nance of Frances what was passing in 
her mind. She was too fond of her 
charge, to suffer so fair an opportunity 
of amending her character to be losL 
When they sat down to breakfast, 
she requested Frances to give her the 
promised sketch. 

"O! you mean what I think of 
Lady Jane," said Frances. "Well, 
you know I told you how she be- 
haved when every body praised her 
performance. Besides, Mrs. Percival 
begged her to dance a pas seul : 
she said she would rather join in 
a quadrille; but, after some time, she 
was persuaded, and did dance alone ; 
of course, all the company said fine 
things, and paid her compliments.'* 



11 



<'Bi.it, why of course, my clear?" 
asked Miss Colville; "no one was 
compelled to do more than thank her 
for being obliging." 

"I suppose they thought she danced 
better than other girls," returned 
Frances. 

"Did you thiixk so?" inquired Miss 
Colville. 

"I am no judge of dancing," re- 
plied Frances. 

"Perhaps you only know when peo- 
ple dance ill," said Miss Colville : 
"but pray proceed." 

"We all danced a quadrille after," 
continued Frances; "and she would 
dance with such a little girl, it was 
quite ridiculous ; and when Mrs. Per- 
cival sent Emma to bed, Lady Jane 
said she would take her to the nurse ; 
and what do you think was her rea- 
son ?" 

"I cannot guess," replied Miss 
Colville; "unless it was from her 



12 



fondness for children ; I know she al- 
ways enjoyed being with young folks." 

44 That was not her motive," return- 
ed Frances ;" for I was determined to 
know why she went; so I asked Char- 
lotte if I might not go too ? she said 
yes ; and we went together. Well, 
the nursery-mafd was so glad to 
see her ladyship, and made her such 
fine curtsies ; and so then Charlotte 
said, ' See, Jane, Margaret has al- 
most finished your gown. ' ' What ! is 
this for you ?' said I : for it was only 
a sprigged calico ; and Charlotte said, 
1 it was one Lady Jane had given to 
Emma's nurse.' So it was clear tome 
she took Emma up stairs that the nurse 
might thank her." 

"I do not agree with you, my dear," 
said Miss Colville. "Have you any 
thing more to say? 1 ' 

''Yes, indeed I have," replied 
Frances ; " for, when we went down 
stairs, most of the company had left; 
so we three, that is, Lady Jane, Char-* 



13 

lotte, and myself, sat in a corner. I 
to:d Charlotte to ask her cousin what 
Mas her allowance. Charlotte knew ; 
and said it A\t*s a pound a-month, and 
that she bought her own gloves out 
of it. I did not believe Chai lotte 
could he right; for you know I have 
more than that, yet I could not afford 
10 buy gloves out of my allowance. 
Lady Jane heard us, laughed, and said 
Charlotte was right. So then we 
talked about spending money ; aiid I 
said I hoped I never should have to 
buy my own gloves ; for I hated 
to be limited in such things, and I 
thought a soiled glove looked vulgar. 
Charlotte said she had begun to find 
her own gloves the last quarter, and she 
liked it much ; 'and I do as you ad- 
vised me Jane, ' said she ; * I mend them 
once a- week ; and my mamma says I 
am much neater since I have had the 
management of them myself.' 'I 
thought you would like it,' said Lady 
Jane ;' and I hope you go on with the 
B 



14 



account-book/ So then I found (hat 
Lady Jane kept an account of all she 
expends, and that Charlotte imitates 
her. Now, is not this very ostenta- 
tious r" 

"It only proves what I have often 
told you," replied Miss Colville, 
" that Lady Jane always judged 
well: you please, but you do not sur- 
prise me, by the intimation of hei* 
continuing to observe those habits of 
order which enable their possessor to 
follow the'impulses of her generosity." 

" O 1 it is of no use talking toyou," 
said Frances ; " I knew you would de- 
fend her : but I am certain. //' you had 
seen her manner, you would think very 
differently ; and I am sure you have 
told me it was wrong to make presents 
to servants." 

" Think again, my dear," returned 
Miss Colville; "}ou mistake the 
matter altogether. I have said to 
you, it was a pity when young la- 
dies found it nccc.ssary to compro- 



mise with their servants ; and, by 
making useless presents to them, bribe 
them to overlook the impatience and 
unkindness of those whom it ought to 
be their pleasure to serve." 

Frances bit her lips, and was silent. 
The allusion lost none of its force, as she 
secretly contrasted the manners of tlje 
person she wished to depreciate, with 
her own unbridled disposition. 

At this moment a servant brought 
in a note : it was addressed to Miss 
Austen. 

<; My aunt Nixon will call at three 
o'clock, and take me to the Bazaar, if 
you have no objection ;" said Frances, 
looking doubtingly at Miss Colville. 

" As it is a promise of some standing, 
I do not wish to prevent you," said 

Miss Colville. ' ' Yet, at all events, 

you may accept Mrs. Nixon's offer : 
if I have occasion to alter my opinion, 
I will endeavour to account for it sa- 
tisfactorily to your aunt." 

"Oli!' thank you, my dear Miss 
B 2 



Colville," joyfully returned Frances,- 
" I \\ ill do every thing you desire ; I 
do so long to go to the Bazaar, and 
particularly to-day; and I promise 
you I will not mention the name of 
Lady Jane again : so, shall I read ?" 

"I do not make terms with little 
girls/' replied Miss Colville mildly; 
44 on the contrary, I shall return to 
the subject you propose to dismiss ; and 
shall think the time as well employ- 
ed, in tracing and unfolding your real 
sentiments respecting Lady Jane, as 
though I were listening to the history 
of other times. History teaches much ; 
but it is from the scene passing before 
us, from those characters that lie open 
to our view, that the most conclusive 
deductions may be drawn." 

"I suppose yon know best," said 
Frances, with a gentleness somewhat 
unusual: "shall 1 read?'' 

" No, my love," replied Miss Col- 
ville ; "I have .said that I think we 
may employ ourselves to equal ad van- 



17 



tage by returning to the subject we 
were discussing. " 

Frances seated herself: and, no longer 
eloquent or self-confident, she awaited 
the pleasure of Miss Colville with more 
dread than curiosity. 

"You have been very free in your 
remarks upon my young friend, Lady 
Jane Milner," resumed Miss Colville ; 
* ' and, though I have encouraged you to 
be communicative, this privilege was 
not intended to make you illiberal or 
censorious. Every person will have 
their opinion : this is fair, and tends 
greatly to improve society, and correct 
erroneous sentiments. But only ima- 
gine, my dear, how unfortunate poor 
Lady Jane would be, if all who saw 
her for a few hours were to imbibe pre- 
judices similar to yours?" 

'' But I have said that I am not pre- 
judiced," replied Frances. 

" I know you have said so, Frances," 
returned Miss Colville; "yet, such 
an assertion is superfluous in the pre- 
13 3 



18 



sent case ; every word you have ut 
tered evinces the contrary : and let 
me ask you, is there not something un- 
unfair and illiberal in watching and 
scrutinizing the habits and manners of 
a stranger ? Would you like the same 
kind of conduct observed towards 
yourself?" 

" There is no fear of my being an 
ohject of attention to any one," said 
Frances; "I never was held up as a 
wonder; so nothing is expected from 
me." 

"Something is expected frdm all 
who profess themselves Christians," re- 
joined Miss Colville, "and that some- 
thing is justice towards others, as we 
hope to find it for ourselves." 

"VVhy, you make this silly visit 
of serious consequence," returned 
Frances ; " I never heard you so parti- 
cular." 

"The visit is not the point in ques- 
tion," said Miss Colville; "its con- 
sequences are but too obvious : you 



1.0 



have seen a young person of whom 
you had heard much, for Lady 
Jane is very generally esteemed ; you 
have repeatedly begged me to describe 
her qualifications, and you appeared 
to take much interest in my descrip- 
tion ; yet I believe I have never omit- 
ted to express my firm conviction of 
Lady Jane's humility. Without this 
essential security against vanity, I 
should have considered her a very un- 
fortunate girl. Few persons of her age 
have made greater progress in the pur- 
suits to which her mind has been di- 
rected ; and, while I do justice to her 
real superiority in those accomplish- 
ments which are too frequently the 
chief objects of the young, I turn with 
delight to those lasting qualities of the 
heart, which will render her estimable 
through life." 

* c Yet you will riot allow me to call 
her a paragon of excellence," observed 
Frances: "so good and so accom- 



20 ^ 

plished, how can she fail heing more 
than perfect ?" 

"Perfection is not to be found in 
this life, my dear," said Miss Colville, 
"nor, when you call Lady Jane a 
paragon of excellence, do you really 
mean what you say. No, it is the 
little taunt of a young critic, who 
hopes she has detected blemishes where 
she would gladly have found glaring 
faults. You look surprised, and per- 
haps think me unkind ; but, allow me 
to make this clear to you. Lady 
Jane was asked to dance ; she compli- 
ed : the request came from an aunt 
whom she loves, and she was civil to 
accede. You admit that she did not 
wish to dance alone : but here again 
the pleasure of another caused her to 
sacrifice her own feelings. This is 
what all young persons should do in 
such cases: it is extremely troublesome 
to see girls resisting the wishes of those 
who might be supposed to have some 
authority over them. Well, then she 



21 



played upon the piano; you are not 
yet sufficiently advanced in this sci- 
ence to judge how far she excels in it ; 
but you say the company were profuse 
in their compliments ; they might say 
a little more than was necessary; for 
compliments are often polite fibs. Yet, 
from my knowledge of her musical ta- 
lent, 1 should say, none but persons 
unacquainted with music, or unwilling 
to allow merit, could be insensible to 
the excellence of her performance. 
Lady Jane's dancing with a mere child, 
I could safely pronounce to be choice ; 
she is particularly fond of children. I 
think you said she gave great praise to 
Miss Percival's skill: this is one of 
the traits in her character which always 
met my admiration ; she is willing to 
be pleased with everyone; and has of- 
ten made me smile at the beauty and 
talent she discovered, where I saw 
little of either." 

"Then you do not think she said 
so, because she found it necessary to 



please those who paid her fine compli- 
ments?" asked Frances. 

11 1 will venture to say, so mean an 
idea never entered her imagination," 
returned Miss Colville ; " and, strange 
as it may appear to you, my dear, I 
can assure you, she is much more dis- 
posed to laugh at such fine compli- 
ments, than to remember them." 

"I never can believe that," inter- 
rupted Frances ; il why, you have often 
said that it was laudable to desire the 
praise of sensible people." 

"Understand me, my dear girl," 
returned Miss Colville, ' 4 1 should pity 
the being, who, having exercised his 
or her ability in the acquirement of any 
knowledge, subsequently recedes from 
the praise due to perseverance. I consi- 
der such a slate of the feelings quite un- 
natural ; the re is a pleasure in well-doing, 
which must produce a certain part ion 
of self-satisfaction. The danger, in 
all these cases, consists in the false, the 



'23 

undue estimation, Are attach to things 
in themselves trivial." 

" I should like to know what you 
really will allow one to he proud of?" 
asked Frances. 

" I will answer you in a few words/' 
said Miss Colville. " Pride is an 
odious vice; and there is no know- 
ledge, nor accomplishment, which does 
not become valueless, when pride is at- 
tached to it." 

"Well, I am afraid I should be 
proud, if people praised me as 1 heard 
them praise Lady Jane, " said Frances : 
"indeed, I think it would be impossi- 
ble to avoid it." 

" I rather think you intended to say 
you should be vain," observed Miss 
Colville. 

" Why, is it not the same thing? ' 
asked Frances. 

"Xo," replied Miss Colville, "pride 
and vanity are distinct : pride leads its 
possessor to think well of himself; va- 



nity makes him desire the good opinion 
of others/' 

"I understand that: yes, that is 
clear enough," said the pupil. "Still, 
my dear Miss Colville, if the praise of 
sensible people is to be desired, how 
can we.be sure we shall not in time be? 
come vain ?" 

"The question is fair," returned 
Miss Colville ; " yet, a little reflection 
may help to guard against this defor- 
mity. As people of sense even will 
sometimes exceed those limits which 
anxious friendship would avoid, you. 
should frequently ask yourself a few 
questions, such as, For what did Mrs. 
Lin ton praise me? Was it for any 
thing that can make me more valued 
hy my parents ? more useful in my par- 
ticular station of lifer and, above all, 
more acceptable to my Maker: If 
your conscience does not assent to 
these positions, assure yourself that 
t)ie acquirement, though innocent and 
pleasing as au embellishment, 



not in reality confer any lasting cause 
for self-satisfaction." 

" I am not in danger of being spoil- 
ed bv praise," said Frances, with a 
smile that conveyed something like 
reproach. 

"Admiration had nearly done you 
irreparable mischief, when you were, 
shall I say so unhappy, as to be placed 
under my care?" observed Miss Col- 
ville. 

" I never said I was unhappy with 
you," rejoined the subdued girl ; "I 
am sure my papa knows it ; for I often 
tell him how much I love you, though 
you do find out all my faults." 

"Well then, my dear," said Miss 
Colvilie, "as I give full credit to 
your avowal, and have lately had 
occasion to applaud your self-correc- 
tion in a few trivial points, let me hope 
that you will reflect upon what I have 
now said. Rely upon it, my dear child, 
evil dispositions are easily roused. 
Envy, malice, and uncharitableness, 
c 



26 

are of one family ; and, when once we 
take pleasure in depreciating our fel- 
low-creatures, it it is impossible to say 
where our criminality will end." 

"But I hope you do not think I 
wished to humble Lrfdy Jane in your 
opinion ?" inquired Frances. 

" You could not do that/' said 
Miss Colville ; ' ' you might lessen my 
respect for you, by betraying a love 
of detraction. But, let me finish 
my analysis of this formidable, but I 
trust fortunate, visit." Here Frances 
sighed, and shook her head. Miss 
Colville proceeded: "I see nothing 
ostentatious in Lady Jane's going to the 
nursery of her cousin, which she is 
in the habit of doing ; and perhaps 
you do not know that the child's nurse 
is the daughter of one of her papa's te- 
nants. In making a present to a person 
so situated there is nothing remarkable; 
and that her ladyship is able to indulge 
her feelings in this way, is creditable tq 



27 

her economy ; for, as you observed, her 
pocket-money is not equal to yours. 

"It was that which surprised me so 
much," said Frances; "and then, you 
know, she buys her own gloves. But, 
do you really think it a good plan to 
keep an account-book : is it not pom- 
pous in a girl?" 

"Is it pompous to be just?" asked 
Miss Colville. " My clear, you must learn 
to think before you speak. The word 
pompous is here out of all place : you 
would ask, ' is it not too womanly, 
too much like setting yourselves above 
others?' I reply No: Lady Jane en- 
gaged, when the allowance was made 
her, to keep herself in gloves, and al- 
ways to appear neat, and like a gentle- 
woman. Justice therefore requires that 
she should know exactly what she ex- 
pends ; and it is this just and sensible 
mode of ascertaining her means, which 
gives her the pleasurable power of being 
useful." 

c 2 



" Well, you predetermined to defend 
Lady Jane," observed Frances ; "so it 
will be nonsense for me to say any 
more." 

" If I had done so at the expense of 
truth, I am persuaded you would have 
set me right," returned Miss Colviile; 
" but, my dear Frances, you are pretty 
certain that I have been but just; nay, 
more; your own sentiments have under- 
gone a revolution within the last half 
hour, and I congratulte you upon the 
improvement." 

*' What do you mean ?*' asked Frances, 
half smiling; " I am sure I cannot 
guess." 

" We will leave time to decide how far 
I am correct in my surmises," replied 
Miss Colviile ; "only now remember my 
present prediction: when next you meet 
Lady Jane, you will not follow her, to 
\\alch and animadvert upon her man- 
ners and actions ; no, you will see her 
with a new eye, and silently assent to 
what I have said of her." 



29 

" Do you think so ?" said Frances ; 
" indeed, my dear Miss Colville, though 
Lady Jane may be all you say, she is not 
the sort of girl I ever can like." 

The arrival of Mrs. Nixon checked any 
farther conversation. Frances was per- 
mitted to accompany her aunt: and she 
followed to her carriage, with a counte- 
nance full of mysterious importance. 

If it were possible to expose all the 
workings of an envious mind, how few 
would indulge dispositions so inimical to 
goodness; so contrary to that temper of 
the soul, which the whole tenor of the 
Christian religion so strongly enforces 

Miss Colviile was not what is called a 
learned or highly accomplished woman : 
her mind was well cultivated ; but, with 
every disposition to shew kindness to her 
charge, she was scrupulously zealous in 
detecting those shades in the character 
which are too often placed to the ac- 
count of youth and inexperience. 

The most common observer of nature 
is aware that the young plant is trained, 
c 3 



30 

the exuberant shoot pruned, and the 
diseased one probed. Are we then to 
infer, that the only production destined 
for immortality by the great Author of all 
things, is to be excluded from that prepa- 
ration we bestow upon every thing around 
us ? Common sense refutes such a be- 
lief; and, while we may hope that actual 
vice is a stranger to the bosom of the 
young, it will be found that, in many, 
the germs of evil are latently hidden : 
nor is it kindness which induces the 
guardians of children to believe that time 
will correct their unreproved errors. 

Time matures: granted. It swells the 
acorn to an oak, and it nourishes the 
deadly nightshade. 

All general theory must fail where the 
dispositions of human nature are the ob- 
ject : in the right application of means 
much skill is requisite; hut never let mis- 
taken tenderness withhold the appropriate 
)eproof. Children know when they of- 
fend ; they are not prone to respect the 
feelings of others ; nor should we be too 



lenient in addressing theirs. So much 
depends upon tracing their feelings and 
opinions, and bringing them home; so 
much may be gained, by convincing 
them that experience is not to be de- 
ceived by the mere. decoration of words ; 
that 1 know not a more cruel over- 
sight, than that of leaving children to 
make acquaintance with their own hearts 
when habit has blunted their sensibility. 
Conscience may, and will, silently admo- 
nish us ; but much of the salutary effects 
of this divine part of our nature is 
abridged, when our reasoning powers 
have been slumbering when they should 
have been vigilant. Did we bestow as 
much time upon proving the heart and 
correcting the temper of children, as is 
cheerfully employed in polishing their ex- 
terior, we, as a nation, should be a 
more acceptable people. 

Frances returned in high spirits. Three 
or four small parcels, which she appear- 
ed sedulously to guard from the scrutiny 
of her friend, were instantly conveyed to 



33 

her own room. Miss Colville made no 
remark upon the mysterious manner of 
her little friend ; convinced, from her 
knowledge of children, that they are al- 
ways prone to communication when they 
think they deserve praise. 

" I have been very extravagant to- 
day," said Frances, as she re-entered the 
school-room : " how ranch do you think 
I have spent ?" 

Miss Colville guessed a few shillings. 
Frances smiled; and with an air of con- 
sequence added, " No ! t have laid out 
one pound fourteen shillings ; and I am 
certain you will admire one of my pur- 
chases ; but it will not come home before 
six o'clock : don't then ask me what it is. 
You will see it in time : I want to surprise 
you." 

Miss Colville promised to restrain her 
curiosity ; and Frances applied herself to 
business till the hour of tea. 

" Well, now I may tell you all about 
the Bazaar ; it is really beautiful ;" said 
Frances : " J am certain I could lay out 



S3 

twenty pounds, without getting all I should 
like to have." 

"1 believe you/' said Miss Colvilie, 
smiling. 

"Oh! you can have no idea of its 
gaiety," returned Frances; "and such 
a quantity of people." 

"A number of persons, and a quantity 
of goods," interjoined Miss Colvilie. 

"True," said Frances, " that would 
have heen more proper : but only think, 
my dear Miss Colvilie, how odd it was 
I should meet Lady Jane at the Bazaar. 
I could not help smiling when 1 saw 
her ; it was so droll, after our late con- 
versation." 

"In London such meetings must oc- 
cur daily, my dear," observed Miss Col- 
vilie ; " persons whose habits of life are 
similar, will necessarily resort to known 
and approved places of traffic. " 

" I suppose so," returned Frances, 
for I saw many I knew. Lady Jane 
made very trifling purchases indeed, 
only three steel bodkins and a pair of 



34 

common scissars : but I can assure 
you I did not watch her to-day ; she was 
at the same s f and, so I could not help 
seeing what she bought. It is no 
matter what I bought there ; you will 
hear, if you do not see the articles. Well, 
then we paid a few visits ; and afterwards 
my aunt ordered the carriage to a straw- 
hat shop in Oxford-street: there we 
again found Lady Jane. She laughed, 
and said we haunted each other ; indeed 
she was quite civil to me : I did not ex- 
pect she would remember me, but she 
did. She had a great pile of coarse cot- 
tage-bonnets before her; you never saw 
such coarse things in your life, not fit for 
a beggar to wear : and for whom do you 
think she bought them r" 

MissColville could not say. 

"Why," continued Frances, "fora 
school in the country: she took twelve of 
them. To be sure they were cheap 
enough, only a shill-ng a- piece ; for my 
part, I would not make presents at all, 



35 

if I did not give things worth accept- 
ance?" 

"Poor Lady Jane 1" sighingly said Miss 
Colville ; "if I did not know you pos- 
sessed resources in your own pure mind,. 
which must make you indifferent to the 
opinion of strangers, I should pity you." 

"But now, indeed," said Frances, 
" if you had seen the bonnets, you would 
think as I do. Oh ! here is the parcel 
I expected/' continued she, jumping up, 
and taking a hat-box from a servant. 
" Now tell me, is not this a very pretty 
hat for a child ? see, what beautiful fea^ 
thers and band !" 

"It is a very handsome hat," said 
Miss Colville; "I never saw a better 
beaver : but this hat is not intended for 
a child belonging to a public charity- 
school?" 

"Oh, no!" returned Frances, "I 
mean this for Nurse Dawson's little boy . 
you saw her one day, soon after you came 
to me, and you admired the child," 

" I remember the circumstance per- 



S6 

fectly well," said Miss Colville; "the 
mother of the babe \vas in extreme po- 
verty ; and one of your servants, who 
was acquainted with her distress, asked 
me for any old apparel I could spare, 
to assist the poor woman in clothing her 
child. Now, can you think a hat of this 
description is suitable for a child so 
situated ?" 

Frances admired her purchase; and 
was not inclined to believe her present 
could not be proper. Yet she looked 
grave, and as though she had some in- 
ternal convictions which she was un- 
willing to avow. 

" May I enquire what this hat cost ?" 
asked Miss Colville. 

" Eighteen shillings," was the reply. 
"Then, my dear," returned Miss 
Colville, " only calculate how much 
more advantageously such a sum might 
have been laid out; nay, perhaps the 
money itself would have been of greater 
service to poor Mrs. Dawson." 

_"Biit I did net think of that/' said 



37 

the disappointed pupil; tc and, besides, I 
preferred giving the child something to 
wear for my sake." 

" You have pleased yourself, then," 
ohserved Miss Colville; " but you can- 
not convince me that a shilling hat, and 
one or two cotton frocks, would not have 
been a more useful and suitable present." 

"1 know the child will look beautiful 
in it, so I am quite glad I bought it," 
said Frances, hastily ; "and, indeed, I 
should not think Airs. Dauson would 
like people to know she was so poor as 
to want a few shillings." 

" Yet she told you she was in some 
need," returned Miss Colville. 

" I beg your pardon, Miss Colville; 
"but I do not recollect her saying any 
thing of the kind." 

"Did she not tell you,'* said Miss 
Colville, " that her husband had been 
out of employment more than two 
months ; and that she had been trying to 
get work from a warehouse, but had not 
succeeded." 

VOL. J. D 



38 

"O yes, she said that," replied 
Frances ; " but I did not understand 
what she meant. 

" I do not expect you to enter into 
the views and feelings of persons to 
\vhose habits you have hitherto been a 
stranger," resumed Miss Colville; "but 
be assured, my dear child, even at your 
age, it is possible you may, by little ob- 
servation and civil attention to the lan- 
guage addressed to you, render yourself 
very useful to your fellow-creatures." 

" I wish I had not bought this odious 
hat," said Frances petulantly: "yet I 
don'i know either ; 1 won't decide till I 
have seen papa." 

Frances joined her papa in the even- 
ing ; and the result was soothing to her 
ostentation : her papa commended her 
liberality. The smart hat with its feathers 
was conveyed to the abode of poverty ; 
and Miss Austen retired, greatly satisfied 
with herself. 

Miss Colville was not disheartened : 
she could make allowance for the feel- 
4 



39 

ings of a fond father ; who, in the act of 
his child, saw only its disinterestedness. 
Nor did she omit to take into consider- 
ation the address with which a lively 
child can carry a favourite point, where 
the parent is indulgent. 

The next morning saw Frances trium- 
phant : yet she was not more faulty than 
many girls similarly situated. There is 
something so congenial to human feel- 
ings in believing that those whose judg- 
ment \ve approve are sometimes found to 
be fallible, it would be unjust to visit this 
infirmityin Miss Austen too severely. Her 
best friend accordingly observed her usual 
manner towards her pupil ; neither revert- 
ing to the past, nor dwelling upon the 
line of conduct she wished her to pursue. 
Miss Colville trusted to the great eluci- 
dator of truth Time ; not doubting but 
future events would better illustrate her 
views for the happiness of her charge, 
than any advice prematurely offered. 

Upon going into the apartment of a 
female servant, a few days afterwards, 



40 

the extent of Miss Austen's liberality 
\vas very conspicuously displayed. A 
fine pasteboard box and pincushion, 
highly gilt and ornamented, was shown 
to the governess as the gift of Miss. 

"But she always was a generous 
young lady," said the loquacious Sarah ; 
4 'and, as I often say, when she's a wo- 
man, she'll make a pattern lor a mistress." 
" Indeed !" said Miss Colville, smiling; 
\vho had heard the same person declare 
'it was impossi51e to please Miss Aus- 
ten, she was so uncertain in her tem- 
per.' 

*' And I'm sure I never saw a prettier 
ruff than this," added a slatternly girl, 
\vho attended upon Miss Austen, and 
was constantly reproved for her untidy 
dress. "I'm quite delighted with my 
present: Miss bought it for me at the 
Bazaar." 

Frances entered the room at this mo- 
ment : her eyes glanced transiently over 
these proofs of her liberality, to rest upon 
those of her governess. In them she saw 



41 

nothing like approbation. Half-vexed at 
this insensibility to her merits, she was up- 
on the point of venturing an observation, 
when Miss Colville was called away to 
see a person who waited below stairs. 
Frances followed. What was her sur- 
prise to find it was Nurse Dawson with 
her little boy; but, strange to relate, 
the child was not dressed in the smart 
beaver hat. 

"1 came to return you thanks, 
ma'am," said Mrs. Dawson, curtsying 
to Miss Colville; "your kind recom- 
mendation has saved me and mine from 
ruin." 

"The young lady gave you employ- 
ment;" said Miss Colville. 

" Yes, ma'am,'* returned Mrs. 
Dawson; "she did more than that. 
The day I took your letter, she gave 
me a one- pound note, and talked to 
me in the kindest way: if she had 
been a woman of eighty, she could not 
have been more thoughtful. It was 
quite overpowering, to hear such a young 
D 3 



ft 

creature enter into the affairs of a per- 
son like me. I have done a good deal 
of needle-work for her ladyship ; and she 
was pleased to say she liked it much. 
But to-day, ma'am, she has made us so 
happy: we are to have the charge of iiis 
lordship's house while they are out of 
town ; and my husband is to be engaged 
directly in place of the old porter ; who 
is not well, and is going to the family- 
seat. God will reward you, ma'am ; 
but indeed I cannot tell you how much 
we feel your goodness."' 

" I hoped my young friend would serve 
you,V returned Miss Colville; kt and I 
am truly glad to find bhe has met with a 
family so worthy of protection." 

Frances sat in breathless expectation 
of hearing the name of this young pa- 
troness ; but it did not reach her ear: 
an intuitive feeling seemed to point at 
Lady Jane. She longed for, yet shrunk 
from seeking, intelligence; when, turning 
to the child, whose shabby hat annoyed 



43 

her vanity, she half- carelessly inquired 
4 'if the beaver hat fitted the child?" 

"I ought to ask your pardon, Miss 
Austen," replied Nurse Dawson ; "but 
you must excuse me, Miss; vve have been 
in such trouble, I could not think of any 
thing. I am much obliged to you for 
the handsome hat you sent; it is a little 
too big for him just now, but by the au- 
tumn it will do nicely." 

" What a pity he cannot wear it now," 
said Frances; " it will be old-fashioned 
by that time." 

"My dear young lady," said Daw- 
son, "that is of little consequence to 
people like us; but I hope it will last 
him two years at least. My husband 
begged his duty and thanks to you, 
Miss, for thinking of little George; 
but he hopes you won't take it amiss 
that we take the feathers out of the hat: 
he says they are not fit for a child of hie; 
and I'm quite of his mind." 

Frances looked disconcerted. She 
feared Miss Colville's moment for tri- 



44 

ilmph had arrived ; and, though she se- 
cretly condemned the mean taste of 
Dawson and his wife, it is probable 
that regret for having laid out her 
money so uselessly had some influence 
on her feelings at the moment. The 
departure of Nurse Dawson and her 
child did not relieve the embarrassment 
of poor Frances. Silence might imply 
that she was contrasting her own plans 
with those of the young lady just eu- 
logized. Such an idea did not suit her 
present frame of mind ; so, in order to 
say something, she fixed upon the sub- 
ject of all others least likely to sooth her 
wounded pride. 

" I dare say you will not agree with 
me," she observed; "but I must think 
Dawson is not of a grateful disposition : 
she might not like feathers; but she need 
not have told me so. I did not ask her 
what she liked; I chose what pleased 
myself." 

"Really, my dear," returned Miss 
Colville, "I do not see Mrs, Dau son's 



45 

conduct in that light. She very re- 
spectfully told you that she and her 
husband thought leathers were not fit for 
their child. There was nothing ungrate- 
ful in this." 

"The fact is." continued Frances, 
1 'her head was full of the rich lady ancl her 
one-pound note ; she could not think 
of a poor present like mine." 

"You do Mrs. Dawsori injustice," 
returned Miss Colville ; "and you as- 
cribe to the young lady what does not 
pertain to her; she is not rich." 

"Do / know her? Did 1 ever see 
her?" asked Frances eagerly. 

"You have," replied Miss Colville; 
it is Lady Jane Milner to whom Mrs. 
Dawson alluded." 

" Lady Jane Milner !" echoed Frances 
in a thoughtful tone of voice ; then rous- 
ing herself, she added: "Forgive me, 
MissCoiviile, but the whole world cannot 
make me believe that Lady Jane has not 
a larger allowance than she acknow- 
ledges." 



46 

"I should be sorry if even a email 
part of what is called the world were 
to sit in judgment upon the possessions 
or merits of my young friend,'' replied 
Miss Colville; " and I really grieve, my 
dear Frances, to perceive how ready you 
are to misconstrue the character of a 
young person to whom you are almost a 
stranger." 

"Why," observed Frances, 'Ms she 
not constantly brought forward ? Do I 
hear of any thing but Lady Jane's ta- 
lents, Lady Jane's liberality, Lady 
Jane's everything?" 

" Not one of your assertions are te- 
nable, child," returned Miss Colville ; 
I will not say you dislike Lady Jane ; 
but, as it is evident that the qualities of 
her heart and understanding are not of a 
character to please you, I rather won- 
der you so constantly revert to her 
name." 

11 Who? I !" exclaimed Frances: " I 
revert to her name ? I should never men- 



47 

tion her I am certain, if I were left to 
myself." 

" I shall leave you to yourself now," 
said Miss Colville, rising; "but, before I 
go, remember I do so in compassion to 
your feelings. Employ the half hour I 
give you in proving your heart ; recollect 
how far your prejudices have transported 
you ; that they have not only betrayed 
you into the most unjustifiable cruelty 
towards my former pupil, but that they 
have led you to utter things totally void 
of truth." 

Miss Colville withdrew : and Frances 
sat overpowered by contending emotions. 
She was an object for compassion : for 
the reproof of her governess was ap- 
propriate. With that hardihood which 
generally accompanies error, she had at- 
tempted to defend her opinions by throw- 
ing blame upon another. This could 
not avail her in the moment of impartial 
investigation. No ; she felt all the truth 
of Miss Colville's exposition ; she was 
ashamed of her own heart; and only 



48 

wondered how feelings which she had 
hoped were hidden from all, could have 
been so accurately known by her go- 
verness. 

From the moment of Miss Colville's 
becoming a resident in the house of 
Mr. Austen, it was the practice of 
Frances to make minute but natural in- 
quiries respecting the attainments of 
Lady Jane Milner. That the female 
who had watched the growth, and cul- 
tivated the mind of the amiable Lady 
Jane, should take delight in speaking 
of the structure she had reared, cannot 
surprise ; yet, from her knowledge of 
human nature, Miss Colville carefully 
avoided all mention of her former pupil, 
unless solicited to do so. How far Miss 
Austen was correct in saying she never 
quoted the name of Lady Jane, it is not 
necessary to affirm : facts speak for 
themselves, and to them the reader is 
refened. 

Nearly an hour elapsed ; and Frances, 
vho really loved her g9verness, be- 



49 

gan to think that something \vas re- 
quired from her, heforeMisbCoiville could 
understand the present state of her feel- 
ings. How to open the subject, was the 
difficulty; yet it must be dune. The ar- 
rival of the tea-equipage gave her the 
desired opportunity. She fied to the 
apartment of Miss Colville; and, tapping 
gently at the door, said, "Tea is rea- 
dy." Miss Colville returned, she would 
join her in a few minutes; and Trances 
with equal speed hastened to place a 
chair, and have all things ready. 

Miss Colville upon her entrance 
looked grave; but her manner was kind 
as ever. Frances regarded her for a 
moment in silence : her heart was. full ; 
and, bursting into tears, she declared 
" she should never be happy again, if 
Miss Colville would not say she forgave 
her.'* 

41 What am I to forgive?" was Miss 
Colvilie's question in. return. 

" My foolish, my cruel injustice to 
Lady Jane," replied* Frances ; " I know, 

E 



50 

I am sure she is an amiable girl ; but 
I did not like to allow it; because 
indeed I cannot tell how I came to be 
so unjust." 

" Unfortunately, I cannot attempt to 
set you at ease upon the nature of your 
former feelings but by the mention of 
that name which offended you," said 
Miss Colville. " What can I do, Fran- 
ces?" 

"Talk of her," answered Frances; 
" tell me all she ever did and said ; 
and I will try to be as good, if you 
will but love me." 

Miss Colville seized this moment of 
self- conviction ; and, with the tenderness 
of a true friend, dilated much, and 
made Frances acquainted with her own 
heart. The susceptible girl, when 
she heard her governess describe the 
tendency of the rancour she had ex- 
pressed towards Lady Jane, the effect 
it would have upon her own happiness, 
and the consequences that might finally 
fall upon her, as she was accountable 



51 



for every word she uttered, wept un- 
restrainedly. 

" I rejoice at these tears," said Miss 
Colville, throwing her arms round her 
Frances. " lean now talk to you. That 
you really admired the girl you strove to 
depreciate, I was well aware ; but, when 
I tell you you have been anxious to imi- 
tate her from the first time of your meet- 
ing, you will say I am not right : this is 
however true. Shall I tell you how, and 
why you failed." 

Frances begged she would. 
" You mistook, then, the mode of 
vying with Lady Jane for imitation/' 
said Miss Coiville ; "in the same way 
that envy is often mistaken for emula- 
tion ; yet no two feelings are more distinct. 
My late pupil is generous, but she is eco- 
nomical; therefore I call her liberal. You 
determined to outdo her in the value of 
your gifts : you have not learned the very 
necessary art of fitness, of giving what 
we do give appropriately. For instance, a 
pasteboard box is, or ought to be, a use- 



5* 

less ornament to a housemaid's toilet; in 
the same way that a fashionable ruff can- 
not be useful to a young woman, whose 
stockings but too often evince her inat- 
tention to those decencies to which every 
woman should attend. Thus, while 
Lady Jane's actions are characteristic of 
liberality, yours have betrayed what?" 

" Ostentation," said Frances; "I see 
it as clearly as possible: you are quite 
right, my dear Miss Colville. And then, 
the ridiculous hat and leathers ; what 
do you say to them :" 

" That such a gift was most injudici- 
ous," replied Miss Colviile'. " You en- 
courage me to go on, my dear Frances; 
so I will not soften the matter;" added 
Miss Colville. Frances pressed her 
hand; and begged she would proceed. 
" Well then," continued Miss Colville, 
" I condemn the practice of giving finery 
of any kind to persons in tiie humbler 
v.alks of life. Jf they have been so for- 
tunate as to escape this injurious sort of 
emulation, you may unintentionally per- 



53 

vert their happy simplicity; if, on the 
contrary, they pretend to vie with their 
superiors, you give them a just reproof, 
when, by the plainness of your gift, or, 
more properly speaking, its fitness, you 
convince them that you thought only of 
its usefulness." 

" How happy Lady Jane must feel 
when she sees poor Dawson made so 
comfortable !" exclaimed Frances. " I 
wish I had not bought those silly fea- 
thers ; but indeed, my dear Miss Col- 
ville, I did not understand that my nurse 
was in such distress." 

" No, my love, you did not attend to 
her little tale," said Miss Colville, smi- 
ling; "your head was then projecting 
something out of the common, some- 
thing that was to outvie, no matter 
whom :" Miss Colville stiil smiled. " Let 
us now picture," she continued, "to our- 
selves Mrs. Dawson, her sick husband, 
and nice little baby, in their poor habi- 
tation, perhaps without a fire, and want- 
ing all the comforts she so fedinglv la- 

E3 



merited, as requisite for Mr. Dawson's 
then \veak state of health. Well, a foot- 
man arrives with a parcel; her heart 
bounds with joy; it comes from the 
child she has* nursed ; she opens it, and 
finds a hat and feathers. Conceive her 
disappointment ! Can any thing appear 
more absurd ? or, do you think that 
your intended kindness could at such 
a moment be of any value?" 

"No! no! it must appear almost 
cruel," said Frances : "1 am afraid 
poor Nurse will think me a ridiculous 
girl." 

" She would not be justified in so do- 
ing," returned Miss Colville. No; 
though your present might arrive at a 
period when it was impossible for her to 
estimate your intended kindness; she 
must, and has, no doubt, reflected upon 
your attention to her child with real 
gratitude." 

A few days subsequent to this pro- 
mising daun of better things in the 

o o 

mind of Frances, she was unfortunately 



55 

led into a situation, which partially re- 
tarded the amendment so necessary to 
her happiness. Mr. Austen, though a 
man of sense, was too fondly attached to 
his daughter, to bear even the most tran- 
sient separation from her. He had en- 
gaged himself to make a visit of a week 
to a widow lady, a distant connexion of 
his late wife. Mrs. Wilton had two 
daughters; and Frances was expected to 
accompany her father, in order to he in- 
troduced to the young ladies. Miss Col- 
ville regretted the separation, more es- 
pecially at this period ; when the happi- 
est results might have heen expected from 
her newly-awakened sense of right. The 
arrangement however gave so much plea- 
sure to Frances and Mr. Austen, who 
had expressed his delight in the intel- 
lectual- improvement of his child, and 
seemed so desirous of introducing her to 
her mother's connexions, that Miss Col- 
vilie was forced to yield, though she did 
it with reluctance. 

Of the Miss Wiltons she had some 



knowledge. They resided near Bloom 
Hill, the seat of Lady Jane's father. 
The young people met occasionally; but 
the Earl of was too judicious a pa- 
rent, to permit any very strict intimacy 
between them. The Miss Wiltons were 
showy girls, not only in their persons 
but their acquirements. With great 
wealth to sanction their self-importance, 
they had a thorough contempt for every 
thing and every body that did not an- 
swer tJieir ideas of magnificence. To 
expose a girl like Frances to an associa- 
tion so dangerous, gave Miss Colville 
real uneasiness ; yet, to guard her against 
persons with whom she was connected by 
blood, was at once unnatural and illi- 
beral. 

All she could do, was to beg she 
would think before she spoke; be scru- 
pulous of giving her opinion upon sub- 
jects with which she was not perfectly 
acquainted ; to avoid entering into the 
concerns of others upon frivolous occa- 
sions ; and to bear in mind, that, as she 



.'57 

had lately discovered the fallacy of being 
liasty in her judgments, so she hoped 
that a lesson, by which she had so mate- 
rially benefited, would often be present 
to her perception. 

Frances promised all and every thing 
that was required of her. She was too 
happy, to restrain her feelings ; and, 
though she really disliked parting with 
Miss Colville, and shed a few tears when 
the carriage was announced, her sensi- 
bility was not lasting. 

On the second day after her depar- 
ture, the following letter reached Miss 
Colville. 

Mount Willon; Sept. 4/7*. 

" MY DEAR MISS COLVILLE, 

" We reached this charming 
place about five yesterday evening. I was 
^really pleased with the view of Mount 
Wilton from the valley ; but I had no 
idea it was so magnificent a place. Papa 
is making a sketch of the scenery this 
morning, which I shall hope to shew 



58 

yon. My cousins are very nice girls ; 
I think Marian quite beautiful. I can 
assure you I shall not find my ball-dress 
too fine for this place. The Miss Wil- 
tons dress so elegantly, I look quite 
shabby by them : so you see I was not 
wrong in begging so hard for my ball- 
frock. Mrs. Wilton is a very nice wo- 
man, and behaves kindly to me ; she 
says I ought not to go out of doors with- 
out a veil ; so I sent for one this morn- 
ing from the village. She is trying 10 
persuade papa to change my masters; and 
has given him a list of those she wishes 
him to engage. You would have been 
pleased with papa's reply. He said he 
left these things to you ; and that he was 
quite satisfied with my present instruc- 
tors : So I do'nt know how it will end ; 
for Mrs. Wilton told me she should at- 
tack papa again. My cousins have 
finished their education; yet Caroline is 
only fifteen, and Marian one year young- 
er. I do not think they are very fond of 
their studies; for they laughed at iny 



59 

bringing my portfolio, and have locked 
it up till I go away. They will not let 
me look into their books, of which they 
have a vast quantity ; but, as this is all 
from a wish to have my company, I 
ought not to complain. I tell you of it, 
because you wished me to attempt a 
sketch from nature, which I fear I shall 
not be able to accomplish. Papa begs 
we to make his compliments to you ; and 
I hope it is unnecessary to add, that I 
am, my dear Miss Colville, 

Yours, with much affection, 

FRANCES AUSTEN." 

"P. S. Papa peeped over my shoul- 
der just now, and said he anticipates 
your remarks on a few words in this let- 
ter; but he will not say which they are." 

The fears of Miss Colville did not di- 
minish upon the perusal of this epistle. 
She foresaw that her pupil must be in- 
jured, by the suspension of those habits 
of diligence which the young in parti- 
cular do not readily continue. Fran- 



60 

ces was but too much prone to value 
personal decoration ; it was therefore 
peculiarly unfortunate she should have 
been thrown into a situation where 
its influence would be recommended by 
the really handsome persons of her cou- 
sins. On replying to her pupil, Miss 
Colville glanced slightly at the " ball- 
frock ;" and rather smiled at the taste of 
Frances, \vhich could lead her to think 
blond lace and Dowers a dress suitable 
for any private party. She hoped her 
young friend would use persuasion to 
induce the Miss Wiltons to return her 
sketch-book; as she still hoped to see a 
specimen of her taste in drawing, which 
she could in few places have a better op- 
portunity of displaying than at Mount 
Wilton/ 

Upon the postcript, Miss Colville ex- 
pressed herself thus: "I should ima- 
gine your papa's remarks to refer to the 
\\ords * nice,' and the ' vast quantity of 
books,' your cousins possess. The word 
nice is often applied \\ here the existence 



of the habit of cleanliness cannot in rea- 
son be questioned. It is a word that 
has latterly crept into conversation, to 
the exclusion of half a hundred terms in- 
finitely more appropriate. For instance, 
Mrs. Wilton is rich, dresses well, and, 
(of course,) is never dirty : still, the word 
' nice' can hardly apply to her appear- 
ance. She may be pleasing, agreeable, or 
elegant; but I do not see the fitness of 
calling her nice. Your cousins being 'nice 
girls,' is liable to the same objection. 
You describe them as very elegant in 
their dress; and I am apt to think, that 
your ideas of elegance must make this 
term more particularly out of place. 
When we speak of a nice servant, we 
understand a neat person, though the 
word is in this case nearly superfluous ; 
as ' neatness' would express all we mean 
to say. I think you will make your own 
deductions from my remarks, and agree 
with me, that this word is unnecessarily 
pressed into use. 'A vast quantity of 
books/ is not an unusual mode of ex- 

F 



62 

pression ; but, c an extensive library/ 
or, a great number of books/ appears 
to me better/ 7 &c. 

Had this letter reached Frances, one 
day earlier than it did, .not a sentence 
of its kindly-disposed writer would have 
been lost. Alas ! it came too late. 
Frances had walked to Bloom Hill ; 
and that walk produced a 'relapse in 
her sentiments respecting Lady Jane 
Milner. The Miss Wiltons were pro- 
fuse in their censure of Lady Jane ; 
and, after numberless insinuations, which 
betrayed their dislike to her ladyship, 
they concluded by observing, that their 
mamma quite rejoiced that they were not 
wonders ; for that nothing was so fatigu- 
ing as those " wonderful" young ladies. 
Frances smiled ; and this smile was taken 
for assent. The most eloquent narra- 
tions ensued all equally edifying and 
authentic: for, though the Miss Wiltons 
were slightly acquainted with Lady Jane, 
their anecdotes of her ladyship were 
collected from a discarded servant of the 



6J 

Earl's; an authority which the Miss 
Wiltons would have despised, had the 
object been any other than Lady Jane 
M ilner. Again Frances thought Miss 
Colville must be mistaken ; it was some 
time since she quitted the Earl's family; 
and, though she might answer for Lady 
Jane while under her guidance, it was 
very possible ehe might be changed. 

Poor Frances ! how weak are the 
reasonings of a half- formed mind ! how 
incompetent are the unsettled and pre- 
judiced in all their judgments! Did 
she believe, or did she wish to find 
her conclusions just? Could Lady 
Jane's defalcations raise her in the 
esteem of her own friends ; or, did she 
hope that her ladyship's descent would 
make her a more practicable model for 
imitation? 

The latter could not be the case; 
for, in proportion as we lower others, 
we secretly ascribe, some new excel- 
lence to ourselves, a something hi- 
therto unnoticed recurs to memory. 



We wonder we ever suffered our dis- 
cernment to be blinded by the false 
glare of the eulogized party; and we 
feel we have not been true to our- 
selves. 

This sort of self-delusion is so far 
pardonable, as it offers the only apo- 
logy that can be made for illiberal 
feelings and sentiments. For, if we 
depreciate and deform the good, for 
the mere pleasure of being ill-na- 
tured, the sin were enormous. But 
this deceit, though usual, is short- 
lived; no human being continues to 
err without a consciousness of so do- 
ing; and, though the force of ex- 
ample is sometimes offered, as extenu- 
ating those errors of imitation into 
which the young are frequently led. 
the excuse is insufficient. Circum- 
stances may place us in the vicinity 
of the unworthy. Does it necessarily 
follow, that we must imbibe their 
faults? How would it sound in the 
ear of the youthful and supposed mo- 



65 

ral girl, were she told she was wicked ? 
Yet is the term applicable, where the 
mind has assented to the censorious 
tale! It is observable, that intelli- 
gent children will question the truth 
of well-authenticated histories; while 
the hasty anecdote, framed to suit the 
purposes of the malicious, will find im- 
mediate credit. Yet, how distinct is 
the danger we incur in either parti- 
cular ! 

If the judgment be misled by the 
admission of hypothesis as fact, of fic- 
tion in place of truth, we injure no 
one ; our knowledge may be incorrect, 
but the mind is pure. Whereas, in 
listening to the tale of malevolence, 
the understanding is degraded; and, 
worse than all, the heart is corrupted. 

The Miss Wiltons gave much weight 
to their descriptions, by frequently 
declaring that everybody thought 
Lady Jane an odd sort of girl. To be 
sure, there were a few old ladies in the 
neighbourhood who held her ladyship 
F 3 



66 

up as a model for those of her own 
age. But these warm eulogists were just 
the sort of persons whose opinions were 
of no value ; they were old-fashioned 
quite old quizzes. Frances did not ex- 
actly know what was meant by the word 
quiz; but she was disposed to be quies- 
cent, and therefore did not cavil with 
words. 

In the course of conversation it trans- 
pired, that the governess of Frances had 
filled a similar station in the Earl of 
' 's family. The young ladies in- 
stantly recognised her as another, but 
more offensive, kind of quiz. 

" Do'nt you remember how imperti- 
nent she was to mamma. Marian ?' : said 
Miss Wilton. 

Frances rould not bear this attack ; 
she assured her cousins, "Miss Colville 
was incapable of rudeness to any one." 

"Ol but she was, I can assure you," 
returner! Miss Wilton: k 'I will tell you 

all about it. Lord happened to 

be in London ; we had a little dance, 



and mamma invited Lady Jane; and, 
do you know she refused to let her 
come: and, (it was so cunning of her !) 
she made Lady Jane write the refusal 
herself; as if any girl would have given 
up a dance of her own accord." 

"Perhaps Lord - might have de- 
sired her to refuse all invitations while 
he was absent;'' observed Frances. 

" No, indeed, that was not the case," 
said Marian; "for, a few evenings af- 
terwards, we met her at a stupid little 
party at Mrs. Musgrove's; and mamma 
was so vexed, she spoke to the Miss 
Somebody the governess, and said she 
thought it very strange Lady Jane should 
have declined her invitation, when it was 
evident she was permitted to go out. I 
remember mamma said the governess 
carried herself very high ; but I forget 
what she said ; only I know we never 
spoke to her from that time, though we 
always continued to be acquainted with 
Lady Jane." 

Frances was firm here ; she was sure 



there was some mistake : but, upon her 
saying she would ask Miss Colville to ex- 
plain the business, the young ladies beg- 
ged she would not, for they required no 
explanation. There was a something in 
the manner of her cousins at this moment 
which rather startled Frances. She was 
in the habit of pressing all subjects home 
in which she believed she was right. She 
could only account for a contrary line of 
conduct, by supposing that the party were 
not quite so sure of their own rectitude. 
On the ensuing morning, Mr. Austen 
accompanied the young ladies in a walk 
of some length ; the object of their excur- 
sion was to view a tunnel upon the estate 
of Lord . They were on their re- 
turn to Mount Wilton, when they over- 
took a gentleman and lady on horseback. 

Mr. Austen recognized Lord ; and 

the Miss Wiltons, with apparent delight, 
exclaimed, ** Dear Lady Jane, when did 
you arrive?" Her ladyship replied po- 
litely, but with great calmness, that she 
had arrived late the preceding evening. 




The ^Mifs "Wiltons "were astonished; it -was tmac- 
cotmtable, to lieaar a. person. o xio coxisideraticm- 
thns ItoiionrecL Vr the inqniries of their noble 



69 

" Is not that Miss Austen?'' she conti- 
nued. Frances, with a flushed cheek, 
replied by a curtsy. Lady Jane extend- 
ed her hand ; and, as Frances received 
the overture, her ladyship inquired after 
Miss Colville. The Earl regarded Miss 
Austen with complacency. " You are 
under the care of a most amiable woman," 
said he: "is Miss Colville at Mount 
Wilton r" Frances replied in the nega- 
tive. The Miss Wiltons were astonish- 
ed ; it was unaccountable, to hear a per- 
son of no consideration thus honoured 
by the inquiries of their noble neigh- 
bour. 

The parties separated. Frances, who 
bad felt more surprise at the very cor- 
dial manner of Lady Jane, became 
thoughtful : her conscience upbraided 
her. Miss Colville bad often told her, 
" that perfect good-breed ing embraced 
a much wider field of action than was ge- 
nerally understood. 'Itis benevolence 
under its most graceful form,' would 
she say ; 'it is kindness upon princi- 



pie, offered wirfi the wish to oblige, 
and utterly void of ostentation.' 

Surely, thought Frances, this is the 
very manner Miss Colville so highly 
extols. I never saw Lady Jane till we 
met at my aunt's ; yet, how civil she 
has been ever since ! If she knew how 
unjustly I have arraigned her conduct, 
she would not have noticed me. As 
these thoughts passed in her mind she 
grew uneasy. She almost dreaded the 
result pf this interview ; for it was evi- 
dent the Miss W T iltons would not over- 
look the attention Lady Jane had 
shewn her. Mr. Austen laughed at the 
silence of his companions; and begged 
to know what had caused it. "I was 
thinking what an odd man Lord 

must be," said Miss Wilton; 

" he always comes and goes so sudden- 
ly, one never knows where to find him. 
I know everybody thinks him strange; 
for people have made parties on purpose 
for him; but he can seldom accept invi- 
tations: this is very odd ; you know." 



71 

Mr. Austen explained that his lord- 
ship was of an active turn of mind, and 
pursued many useful plans for the im- 
provement of his very extensive proper- 
ty ; and these necessarily called upon 
his time. ''Then, 1 am sure, if he is 
so rich," said Marian, " I wonder Lady 
Jane does not make a better appear- 
ance: did you ever see any thing so 
shabby as her habit ? I am sure she 
has worn it these three years to my 
knowledge." 

This observation was addressed to 
Frances; who, though she might have 
arranged a reply had her father been ab- 
sent, felt it then impossible to do so : 
there was a gravity in his counte- 
nance which somewhat alarmed her. 
The Miss Wiltons were not easily repel- 
led. They attributed the silence of their 
cousin to that change of sentiment 
which suddenly takes place in weak 
minds. They thought Frances, flat- 
tered by the notice of Lady Jane, 
would gladly retract her opinion of 



72 

her ladyship. This neither suited 
their natural dispositions, nor accorded 
with their loquacious habit of judging 
their acquaintance. It is always pleas- 
ing to such persons when they can 
make converts ; they may not value the 
opinions of the party, but it in a man- 
ner palliates their ov.n errors, when 
they can refer to some one who thinks 
like themselves. 

Compelled at last to say something, 
Frances owned, "that .she had not 
observed the dress of Lady Jane." 

The sisters smiled significantly. 

" I waited for your reply with some 
anxiety," said Mr. Austen, turning 
to his daughter ; " and I should 
have been grievously disappointed had 
you expressed yourself otherwise than 
you have done. As a child, you can- 
not possibly be supposed to have a cor- 
rect judgment in matters of this kin<] ; 
nor can you have any right to criticise 
the personal appearance of one whose 
station in life is too distinct from your 



73 

own to be judged by the same me- 
dium." 

Frances had never heard her father 
speak in so grave, so decisive a man- 
ner: all she had ever thought and 
said of Lady Jane rose to her mental 
view. Mount Wilton lost its attrac- 
tions ; she felt she was in danger ; and 
secretly longed to quit a place, of which 
she, a few days before, believed she 
could never tire. 

As they reached the house, Mr. Aus- 
ten half-play fully addressed his daugh- 
ter. "I do not pretend to understand 
female costume," said he; "but, my 
dear Frances, I must beg you will not 
wear the finery you wore last evening : 
it offended my eye, as being much too 
dressy for the country. I fear we want 
Miss Colville's good taste to direct us. 
However, in her absence, I must de- 
cide : be plain and well-dressed ; bqt do 
not wear any thing fine." 

Frances said something about obedi- 
ence ; but it was too indistinct to be re- 
I, 



corded The Miss Wiltons littered; 
and in a whisper pronounced Mr. Austen 
a quiz. The young ladies separated; 
and, though Miss Austen conformed to 
the desire of her father, and appeared 
in plain attire, the evening passeid hea- 
vily : she felt humbled, and had neither 
spirits nor inclination to combat the wit 
of her cousins. The Mount Wilton 
family proposed calling at Bloom II iH 
next morning ; for, minutely as they 
scanned the actions and conduct of its 
inhabitants, Mrs. Wilton yet considered 
their acquaintance of importance. 

Frances knew not whether to be glad 
or sorry, as the hour approached for this 
visit: she did not question the civility of 
her reception ; but she felt she did not 
deserve the very marked notice of Lady 
Jane. In receiving kindness from 
those we have endeavoured to depreci- 
ate, there must always be a humiliating 
sense of our tmworthine^s. How deeply 
Frances suffered this just punishment of 
ihe traducer! How acutely did her 



75 

heart reproach her ; as Lady Jane, with 
that distinguished good -breeding which 
defines hetueen the vulgarity of free- 
dom arid the formality of the unenlight- 
ened, received and entertained her vi- 
sitors with the utmost ease and elegance. 
She conversed with each of the party, 
and with a su-itahleness that evinced 
the clearness of her understanding. To 
Frances she shewed the attentions that 
accorded with her age ; and, as she spoke 
of Miss Colville with a warmth that 
evinced her attachment to that friend of 
her youth, she arose, and, opening a 
door, directed the attention of Frances 
to it. "In that room," said she, 
" we passed all our mornings.: she 
has half-promised to make me a visit at 
Christmas, and she shall find it exactly 
what it was when we lived so happily to- 
gether." 

Miss Austen, though pleased with 
this mention of her governess, was re- 
ally too ill at ease to look happy. "I 
am afraid you do not like uiy plan/' 
G 2 



76 

added her ladyship; "but, if Mr. Aus- 
ten v\ill spare you for a week, I may in- 
crease my pleasure by his permitting you 
to accompany Miss Colville." 

Frances regarded her father with eyes 
full of expectation. 

" Your ladyship does my daughter 
honour," said he ; " but I beg to assure 
you, it must always afford me satisfac- 
tion to contribute to the happiness of 
Miss Colville ; and I can readily believe 
she cannot have a higher enjoyment, than 
that of contemplating a character she so 
well knows how to prize." 

"Jane owes Miss Colville much," 
said the Earl ; "and she knows and feels 
it properly. But it is I who am her 
great debtor. I was a silly, but of 
course, in my own opinion, a most ten- 
der father, when this excellent woman 
stepped in, and taught me to understand 
that the creature I was rearing, was nei- 
ther bestowed upon me as a toy for my 
pastime, nor a mere automaton, that was 
to pass through certain common forms, 



77 

a*id enter the world to be gazed at for a 
day, and then perish arnid the wreck of 
meaner things. She has formed my 
child for something higher; and I rejoice 
to find your motherless girl is so fortu- 
nate as to have fallen into such good 
hands." 

If Mr. Austen had not previously 
considered Miss Colville with esteem, 
this eulogium, from a parent so capable 
of estimating her worth, must have been 
highly satisfactory. Mrs. Wilton took 
110 part in the conversation: she had 
many questions to ask concerning Lon- 
don and its gaieties; and, though Lady 
Jane was less informed in these matters 
than might have been expected, tVorn her 
station in life, Mrs. Wilton did not 
cease to persecute her with inquiries. 
The sisters, always easy and undaunted, 
by turns admired or detected the. faults 
in some drawings which they discovered 
upon a sofa-table. 

tk This is not yours, I am certain," 
G 3 



78 

said Caroline ; " it wants the correctness 
of your style." 

"It is mine nevertheless/' said Lady 
Jane; "and I preserve it, because it is 
so faulty, it helps to guard me against 
similar blunders." 

"Well, I am not quite so humble," 
replied Miss Wilton ; " in truth, my eye 
is so easily offended, I destroy every 
thing that is not well done." 

<l I often say you are fastidious," in- 
terjoined Mrs. Wilton; "butyoung peo- 
ple will be young people: they will have 
their whims as well as ourselves." 

This was addressed to the Earl and 
Mi^. Austen : the former merely smiled. 
Mr. Austen observed, that "whims, like 
other foibles, should be traced to their 
source; that, for his own part, he was in- 
dulgent to the weaknesses of human na- 
ture so long as the error bore a cha- 
racter of simplicity, of that ignorance 
to which inexperience must concede; 
but that, wherever a tendency to vanity 



79 

could be detected, it was cruel to pass it 
over.'* 

Mr. Austen now examined the criti- 
cised drawings, fie was an admirable 
judge of the art, and often employed a 
leisure hour by the exercise of his pen- 
cil. On some of the sketches he be- 
stowed unqualified praise; but, upon 
turning to one, he recollected the sub- 
ject as one which Frances had attempted 
with success. lie appealed to his 
daughter; who replied by saying, "she 
often drew from those drawings of Lady 
Jane which Miss Colville had particu- 
larly admired." 

"It appears to me you could not do 
better," resumed Mr. Austen ; "here 
are some exquisite touches ; your lady- 
ship's pencil is free, decisive. I believe 
I must entreat to copy this myself; it is 
a view from the lawn, which I stopped 
to admire as we came in." 

Lady Jane offered the drawing with 
a graceful smile; but modestly suggested, 
that Mr. Austen would find greater in- 



80 

terest in making his sketch from nature. 
The Earl seconded the proposition ; and 
the next morning was fixed for a sketch- 
ing-party, to which Frances and the 
Miss Wiltons were invited. 

The sisters declined joining in the 
pursuit ; but they should have great 
pleasure in looking on. " In fact, I can- 
not bear perspective; that part of the art 
is an immense bore to me," said Caro- 
line; "and really, I must say, I think it 
cramps the natural genius ; don't you 
think so, Lady Jane?" 

Her ladyship thought it essentially 
necessary to all who wished to draw from 
nature; and she said so. Mrs. Wii 
ton thought it proper to say something 
She lamented " that unfortunate charac 
teristic of genius, which always led its 
possessors to despise conmion rules." 

" You are too lenient, my dear ma- 
dam," said Mr. Austen; " real genius 
is by no means so common as is ima- 
gined; idleness is frequently mistaken 
for that sublime species of indifference. 



81 

vvjhich may pertain to, but does not al- 
ways accompany, true genius." 

" I see your plan," said Mrs. Wilton 
smilingly, "you would discourage every 
thing that could excite vanity; but, my 
dear Mr. Austen, this may be carried too 
far. There may be parents who can 
withhold the praise that is due to those 
young people who exert themselves to 
our satisfaction. 1 confess I am not of 
the number; and I must believe your 
own indulgent disposition would refute 
such injudicious opinions.'* 

Mr. Austen declared that, "what- 
ever might have been his errors in this 
particular, he had recently seen all the 
advantages that were to be expected 
from an opposite line of conduct ; and 
he was determined to follow the ex- 
ample." 

Frances comprehended the allusion 
that was intended : the direction her fa- 
ther's eye had taken, left no doubt in her 
mind ; and she had often heard Miss 
Colville say "that Lady Jane was sel- 



82 

dom praised by her father ; though he, 
upon some occasions, thanked her for 
the zeal she displayed, when directed to 
studies for which she had no decided 
taste. This had heen the case with her 
drawing; and, though she now delighted 
in the art, and exhibited pleasing proofs 
of her ability in it, it was not a i'avour- 
ite pursuit. Perseverance, and the 
laudable desire of pleasing her father, 
produced that result; and the same 
would in a thousand instances be found 
effective, were these principles more 
generally felt and acted upon. 

In their ride home, the Miss Wiltons 
could not refrain from a few inuendoes. 
"Did you see what Lady Jane was 
about when we first arrived ?" said Ca- 
roline. "O yes," replied Marian, 
"she was settling her accounts; I sa\v 
figures, and the words * James Wells, 
seven shillings.' Well, she may be 
very clever ; 1 do not pretend to say she 
is not; but it is quite ridiculous to see so 
much parade about a few shillings or a 



83 

few pounds : indeed, she is the last per- 
son who should make a display of the 
kind." 

fk l did not observe anything ostenta- 
tious in her ladyship," said Mr. Austen : 
"we surprised her; her right to occupy 
her time as she pleases cannot be ques- 
tioned ; ours, to pry into the nature of 
her employments, lies open to many ob- 
jections ; nor can I understand how you 
could gain the information you have 
given." 

" I can read writing any way,' 1 re- 
torted Marian : " I saw it as clearly as 
possible while I was shaking hands with 
her." 

" Indeed!" said Mr. Austen, laugh- 
ing ; " but now, Marian, may I ask, why 
iLady Jane in particular should hide her 
benefactions from observation?" 

"Why," replied Marian, "because 
she professes such very different ideas 
about charity : Caroline can tell you ail 
about it. She had a downright dispute 



84 

with Lady Jane concerning this very 
business." 

" Could Lady Jane dispute?'' asked 
Mr. Austen. 

- O dear no ; I dare say she would tell 
you she was not iri the least angry/ 1 
said Caroline; " but I venture to think 
for myself:" she coloured, and said it 
was quite nonsensical for girls like us to 
talk upon such subjects; but, for all that, 
she would not give up the point." 

" And what was this favourite point?" 
inquired Mr. Austen, whose prepos- 
session strongly favoured the firmness oi 
her ladyship, even previous to the re- 
quired elucidation. 

"Why you know," returned Caro- 
line, "the lower orders of the people 
were much distressed last year; well, 
Lady Jane came to take tea with us ; 
the county-paper happened to lie upon 
the table ; I took it up, and read the list 
of the subscribers that had contributed 

to their relief; neither Lord , nor 

her ladyship's name, were down. \ 



85 

asked if her papa had given any thing; 
she said 'she did not know.' Marian, 
in one of her wild whims, said, 'perhaps 
he will give them an ox ; he has plenty of 
them:' again Lady Jane said ' she did 
not know/ / then said, if they had 
given any thing, their names would have 
appeared ; so it was unnecessary to ask 
the question. Lady Jane observed, 
'that did not follow; for many persons 
disliked having their names made known 
upon such occasions.' I said, I thought 
it was satisfactory ; because the poor 
might otherwise be defrauded. She 
would not allow this ; and said, l it was 
cruel to suspect any set of men of a 
crime so odious.' Then Marian insisted 
that Lady Jane had given, but would 
not say how much. It was then her la- 
dyship looked angry, though she affected 
to laugh. We told her the sum we had 
given, and shewed her our names; but 
she would not say anything more, and 
called it * a ridiculous curiosity for girls 
like us.' But it was clear to me she 



86 

would have been glad enough to speak 
upon the subject, if she could have done 
it with credit to her rank." 

"And these are your real sentiments, 
Caroline?" asked Mr. Austen. 

"To be sure they are," returned Ca- 
roline. 

"Then I must set you right, child," 
said Mr. Austen: "that Lady Jane 
should define between Ostentation and 
Liberality is not extraordinary, consi- 
dering whose child she is ; that she 
should have done so without betraying 
the disgust she must have felt at an at- 
tack so unauthorized, is perhaps, from 
your report, the highest eulogium you 
could have passed upon her." 

M rs. Wilton was roused by this bold 
censure of her daughter; and, in a tone 
which bore a general inference, "she 
desired she might hear no more of Lady 
Jane: she was sick of the subject." 

Frances listened to these opinions of 
her father, with a full presentiment that 
this visit would have its due weight upon 



87 

her subsequent habits and conduct. She 
was a girl of quick discernment ; yet, 
like most young persons whom indul- 
gence had rendered supine, she did not 
desire any further change in the plan of 
her education. Miss Colvillehad ijatro- 
duced many regulations, which appeared 
formidable at first; to these however 
she had become reconciled ; but she did 
not see the necessity for any new adop- 
tions, more especially as she guessed 
their bearings. 

The succeeding morning proving fine, 
the sketching-party was talked over at 
breakfast. Mr Austen prepared pencils 
for his daughter, and desired her to 
make an attempt, however rough. The 
Miss Wiltons were irresolute: "they 
did not know whether they should go or 
not. It was a dull sort of thing: to be 
sure Lady Jane w ; ould expect them ; 
she might think it strange, and perhaps 
Frances would not like to go without 
them, as she was almost a stranger tq 
her ladyship." 



$3 

** Do what is agreeable to yourselves," 
Said Mr. Austen: "my little girl is of 
no consequence ; she is a child, and can 
have no other object in the excursion, 
but of being permitted to share its plea- 
sure, without breaking-in upon the em- 
ployment or conversation of the party." 

"Poor child," said Caroline, laugh- 
ing, " I think you had better resolve to 
remain with me. We will practise qua- 
drilles. Tell me, Frances, shall you 
and I give up this dumb meeting?" 

"Frances has no voice on the occa- 
sion," observed Mr. Austen; "she must 
accompany me." 

"Caroline is only jesting/' said Mrs. 
Wilton; "she intends to go: You will 
both go ;" she added, nodding her head ; 
" for I wish, if possible, to make up a 
little dance before our friends leave us ; 
and I wish you to learn how Lady Jane's 
engagements stand." 

Thus commanded to do what they re- 
ally wished, the young ladies accompa- 
nied Mr. Austen and his daughter. They 



89 

found Lady Jane employed ; but Marian, 
with all herquick-sightedness, could not 
make out the address of a letter which 
she saw put into a small band-box, and 
carefully placed upon a slab. The act 
was unimportant, and too common to ex- 
cite curiosity ; and it would have passed, 
had not her ladyship, in a low voice, said 
something to Frances, which called forth 
a ready assent and a pleasant smile. 

While the party were collecting their 
drawing-materials, Marian sought an ex- 
planation from her cousin. Now the 
Miss Wiltons had not gained upon the 
esteem of their visitor since the first two 
or three days. She had found them uni- 
formly disposed to laugh at every one ; 
they could not allow merit in any of the 
young persons of whom they spoke; and, 
though very anxious to know every body's 
business, and almost rude in pressing 
their inquiries, they frequently repressed 
her simple questions, with " Don't be 
curious, child ; children should not ask 
questions." The. spirit of retaliation 
u 3 



90 

seized Frances at this moment ; and, in 
a cheerful tone, she begged Marian 
would not be curious, c. 

"You are quite ridiculous," said Ma- 
rian; " IVhat could Lady Jane say to 
you, that need be a secret?" 

"Aye, that is the question," said 
Frances, laughing; "but I cannot stay, 
papa is beckoning me." 

The party now took their positions. 
Lady Jane, in compliment to the Miss 
Wiltons, did not join in the purswit; but 
with great good-humour divided her at- 
tentions, sometimes looking over Frances, 
and frequently applauding the very great 
ease of her pencil. Mr. Austen's sketch 
proved a happy one ; and her ladyship, 
with unfeigned delight, pointed out its 
chief excellencies. "'It wants some of 
your ladyship's touches in the foliage of 
this oak," said Mr. Austen, pointing to 
the drawing. "The tree wants body," 
said Lady Jane. 

The Miss Wiltons instantly pro- 
nounced the tree to be the best thing 



91 

they had ever seen expressed by the pen- 
cil. Mr. Austen smiled, but made no 
reply to them : Lady Jane looked a little 
abashed. " If I rightly recollect," said 
Mr. Austen, "you are the lady who, 
when your drawing-master added some 
touches to your drawing, annexed his 
name to your own in the corner ?" 

u It was one of my whims," returned 
Lady Jane, laughing ; " I guess who told 
you of it; but I always disliked that 
things should be represented as mine, 
when they were not my entire perform- 
ance." 

" I admire the principles which dic- 
tated such a reproof," replied Mr. Aus- 
ten; "the practice you condemn is too 
common: were all young ladies to adopt 
your plan, we should see indeed fewer 
finished performances, but this would be 
compensated by the approbation with 
which \ve must contemplate every effort 
of an understanding so amenable to 
justice." 

" There is very little merit in acting 
4' 



honestly," returned Lady Jane, laugh- 
ing ; " I should as soon think of pur- 
loining the apparel of another, as accept- 
ing praise for an action I had never per- 
formed." 

Mr. Austen looked his delight : even 
Frances paused to regard the manner 
and voice in which this sentiment was 
uttered. 

"Charlotte Percival is not quite so 
strict as you are," said Miss Wilton; 
" she used to make us laugh at the fine 
things that had been said to her about 
her drawing. We learnt of the same 
master, and we know he always took 
them home to fix, as he called it ; but his 
junior pupils could scarcely recognize 
their own attempts after they had been 
in his hands. He did not, of course, 
pursue the same method with his elder 
scholars." 

" Are you sure of that, Caroline ?" 
asked Mr. Austen, 

"We should have detected it, sir/' 



returned Caroline; " nor could it always 
be necessary." 

Lady Jane did not laugh ; but the 
arch glance Frances directed towards 
her had nearly disposed her to do so. 
" I must defend my friend Charlotte 
Percival," observed Lady Jane ; "she 
certainly has submitted to the deception 
you describe; and, with her usual vi- 
vacity, enjoyed the eulogiums bestowed 
upon her ' want of capacity,' as she 
called it ; but, having a great regard for 
her, I took the liberty of pointing out the 
disingenuousness of the practice : she was 
soon convinced ; and from that time 
has never permitted her attempts in 
drawing to be touched- up by her 
master." 

Pleased with this defence of her friend, 
Frances exclaimed with energy, " Char- 
lotte loves you better than anybody; 
she told me so." 

"And I am very fond of Charlotte," 
said her ladyship, smiling; " she is a very 
u tuiable irL 



Frances sighed : she wished she could 
find herself included in the list of those 
her ladyship thought amiable, but she 
felt she had no claim to the good opinion 
of Lady Jane ; and the pain this gave 
her, was augmented by the recollection 
of the weakness by which she had so 
lately been led to unite in the sarcasms 
levelled at her by the Miss Wiltons. It 
might have been expected, that a mind 
so open to conviction, so conscious of 
its departure from right, would not hesi- 
tate to adopt a happier line of conduct. 
Yet Frances Austen was not singular in 
the tardiness here displayed. It is but 
too true, that a certain portion of false 
shame will frequently prevent the best 
purposes of the unsteady character; and 
they who do not blush to do wrong, 
will, from a feeling which they denomi- 
nate shame, defer the effort that would 
bring peace to themselves, and confer 
happiness on all interested in their 
welfare. 

A mistake more palpable, more self- 



95 

evident, cannot be adduced. Nor can 
that really be called shame, which -deters 
the erring from embracing the path of 
virtue. It is pride of the worst kind ; 
a pride condemned in every page of that 
Volume which was written for our learn- 
ing. The Scriptures are not more infal- 
libly the rock on which our hopes of fu- 
ture happiness must be founded, than 
the sure and certain guide for our con- 
duct in this life. To what page of Holy 
Writ, then, must we refer, for a prece- 
dent favourable to pride of heart ? for 
a decisive proof that we may go on in 
our sins, without endangering more than 
the present hour? 

A mere infant could refute so unwise 
an inquiry, from the hymn lisped in the 
nursery, to the prayer selected, when rea- 
son dictates its suitableness to our hopes 
or fears : all, and each, bear the same 
character, and decidedly assure us that 
we must ''depart from evil," before we 
can hope for the favour of a just God. 

The Miss Wiltons, mindful of their 



., N ;, ; ..,,/ 

mamma's commission, endeavoured to 
ascertain the engagements of Lady Jane ; 
but, unwilling to appear too solicitous on 
their own account, they judiciously sug- 
gested it, and as occasioned by their mam- 
ma's wish to amuse their cousin. " And, 
as the poor child had few opportuni- 
ties of dancing, and was not well taught, 
they hoped her ladyship would oblige 
them by joining a small party any even- 
ing on which she might be disengaged." 

" I cannot have that pleasure," re- 
plied Lady Jane ; " we are going a visit 
into Kent ; and, I regret to add, I am 
not to dance any more this season, by 
advice of Dr. ." 

"How provoking!" poutiogly said 
Caroline; "what a bore it must be to 
you to give up dancing. I am sure you 
look very well ; but those odious doctors 
always contrive to make us miserable." 

"i am not angry with Dr. ," 

returned her ladyship, laughing ; "he 
knows mv constitution much better than 



97 

I do myself; and my father thinks 1 have 
danced enough for this year.' 1 

"Frances, you will lose your ball/' 
said Marian, turning to her cousin ; "zee 
were anxious you should have a little 
hop, but you see it is not practicable." 

Frances was a sti anger to the whole 
plan ; so she had nothing to say. Lady 
Jane laughingly declared it was impro- 
bable to suppose, her being unable to 
accept the invitation of Mrs. Wilton 
would spoil the projected ball. 

Mr. Austen said, " he feared he 

should be classed with Dr. , and 

ranked with those who liked to make 
people miserable ; for he must be in 
London in three days, and Frances could 
not, consequently, partake in the pro- 
posed enjoyment." 

Thus disappointed in their object, the 
Miss Wiltons grew impatient to return. 
" The air was chilly i they hoped Frances 
did not think of finishing her sketch that 
day ; their mamma would be lonely ; and 
i 



93 

they begged a servant might order their 
carriage." 

Mr. Austen gave the necessary orders. 
The party returned to the house ; and, 
\vhile partaking of some refreshment laid 
out for them, Lady Jane addressed her- 
self to Frances. Marian saw the box 
which had excited her curiosity in the 
hands of her ladyship : she heard Frances 
express her willingness to take charge of 
it ; and when, on taking leave, Lady 
Jane called a servant to convey it to the 
carriage, she saw her cousin step forward 
and decline his interference, saying it 
was small, and she would carry it her- 
self. Marian's anger was roused : she 
scarcely knew why ; but with a sneer 
she remarked, " that Frances was quite 
a child, and of all things liked to be em- 
ployed in any thing that looked like bu- 
siness." 

" It is so natural, at least, it is what I 
always enjoyed at her age," replied Lady 
Jane, "that I can understand her feel- 
ings." 3 



99 

" Your ladyship appears to entertain 
that respect for the feelings of others, 
which is the best test of the correctness 
of your own," said Mr. Austen; and 
bowed as he attended his party to the 
carriage. 

" Shall I guess the mighty mystery con- 
tained in this ?" said Miss Wilton, rough- 
ly shaking the box Frances had placed in 
her lap. "It is some present to your 
Miss What's-her-name, your governess, 
is it not ?" 

Frances replied in the affirmative ; 
and at the same time requested her 
companion not to overturn the box, as 
she believed it contained articles that 
would be injured by her doing so. 

"Don't be frightened, child," cried 
Miss Wilton ; " I would not expose you 
to the anger of that lady ; we know she 
can be magnificently grand upon occa- 
sion : but tell me, Frances, does she not 
place Lady Jane before you as a model 
for your imitation ? Dear me, how you 



100 

colour, child ! don't despair ; you may in 
time reach that height; so have courage.*' 

" Miss Coiville never said anything of 
the kind to me," replied Frances; " but, 
since I have seen more of Lady Jane :" 

she paused ; for her father's eye 

\vassteadily fixed upon her. 

"Why do you hesitate, Frances? 
What would you say, my dear," said 
Mr. Austen. 

"Why," replied Frances, "that I 
am sure Miss Coiville must wish me to 
resemble one who appears so truly ami- 
able and accomplished ; but do not sup- 
pose I have the vanity to think /could 
ever compare with her." 

"Thank you, my dear girl," warmly 
exclaimed Mr. Austen; "you anticipate 
my wishes : to see you appreciate worth 
in your own sex, is highly gratifying to 
me ; and, though nature may have de- 
nied you that clear understanding, and 
those general abilities, with which her 
ladyship is so eminently endowed, be 
assured, thcrt diligence and perseverance 



101 

will effect much. No doubt there are 
persons who will tell you, that, to endea- 
vour to form your character upon apian 
purely imitative, is bad; that the natural 
character will in such case lose its genu- 
ineness, while the acquired one will want 
originality. Such reasoning is errone- 
ous: education either improves or de- 
forms the natural character; its influence 
must eradicate the imperfections insepa- 
rable from unassisted reason, or, by its 
injudicious application, confirm our igno* 
ranee. Who amongst us reaches even 
adolescence, without undergoing some 
change of character and dispositions." 

" But I hope we are not all obliged to 
be fictitious characters ?" said Caroline, 
pertly : " I hope there are persons who 
possess feelings and principles of their 
own." 

" These are general attributes, my 
dear Caroline," returned Mr. Austen. 
1 ' It is of the good principles, the kind 
feelings, I am speaking. You disclaim 
all idea of imitation, Caroline ; yet, it 
i 3 



102 

might be easy to convince you, that you 
are no stranger to this practice in trifling 
matters ? Then why should it he dero- 
gatory to your feelings, to copy that con- 
duct which in itself is amiable, and pro- 
cures to its possessor so much internal 
satisfaction ?" 

"People," said Miss Wilton, "see 
w ith different eyes ; perhaps, what you 
admire, sir, may be very far from my 
ideas of goodness or excellence, or what- 
ever you please to call it. " 

" I do not wish to find young ladies 
able in argument," returned Mr. Aus- 
ten, smiling; " on the contrary, I re- 
joice, when, like yourself, they betray 
the weakness of their positions. It is true, 
our stricture refers to an individual; yet 
you, my dear child, are giving the sub- 
ject a point, exerting an energy, which I 
regret to perceive. You will say I am 
presuming: had Frances been absent, I 
might not have said so much ; as it is, I 
am so persuaded of the universality of 
imitation, that I should have thought 



103 

myself criminal, had I permitted her to 
listen to opinions so ill-supported and 
dangerous in their tendency." 

11 What change this hox may have 
produced in your sentiments I know 
not?" said Marian, turning to her cou- 
sin; fc but you did not think so very 
highly of Lady Jane ; indeed, you agreed 
to all we said and thought of her." 

"I have been wrong, very wrong," 
said Frances, while the tears streamed 
down her cheeks; " but, indeed, if you 
will recollect, I only laughed at your de- 
scriptions of Lady Jane; I did not speak 
disrespectfully of her. I think Caroline 
will allow that I acknowledged I had 
been much mistaken concerning her 
ladyship ; and I then told you how com- 
pletely Miss Colville accounted for my 
not understanding her character." 

" Do not make yourself uneasy," said 
Caroline, taking her hand ; " really, my 
dear Frances, we are all much to blame 
for wasting our time in this way. Come, 



104 

dry your eyes, mamma will be alarmed 
if she sees you look pale," 

Mr. Austen reserved his remarks 
for a more convenient opportunity ; so, 
by the time they reached Mount Wilton, 
no traces of the late scene were visible 
in the countenances of the party. 

A slight relapse had nearly been pro 
duced, when the Miss Wiltons an- 
nounced their ill success in arranging the 
projected little ball. Mrs. Wilton declared 
it was insufferably rude in people to hold 
back as the Bloom-Hill family always 
did ; for her part, she had often said 
she would not ask them again ; now she 
was determined they should make the 
first advances." 

Mr. Austen spoke of his departure ; 
and begged if he could be useful in ex- 
ecuting any commissions that Mrs. Wil- 
ton would command him. 

"Are we then to lose you so soon? 
this is sad intelligence," returned Mrs. 
"Wilton ; "and really, for your dear 
girl's suke, it is a great pity. It may be 



105 

:onceit; but I positively think she is 
nuch improved since she came among 
js; she has caught Marian's manner." 
Mr. Austen almost started. "She has, 
[ can assure you/' continued Mrs. 
VVilton; "a mother's eye, you know, is 
wonderfully acute." Mr. Austen did 
not seem to acquiesce in this assertion. 
"So you must go! Well, then, now 
ibout the masters; you will find the 
persons I recommend very superior in 
their respective departments; in facf, 
uhey are the only people employed by a 
certain rank ; and" 

"My dear madam," said Mr. Aus- 
len ; "such persons cannot want my 
patronage. You must excuse'me, if I 
ilecline your well-intended recommen- 
dations ; 1 have no idea of making any 
ilteration in the plan at present in pro- 
gress for the advantage of ray child. 
[ shall return home, more than ever 
convinced that the kind friend to whose 
pare I have committed my daughter, is 
idmirably qualified for the charge. If 



106 

1 meditate any change at all, it is that 
of yielding her up to Miss Colville en- 
tirely. That lady has often told me 
'that I am prone to make Fiances a 
holiday pet, while it was her object to 
make her my rational friend." 

"You are wrong," returned Mrs. 
Wilton ; "and you will repent placing 
implicit confidence in a person of that 
description. The dear child's spirits 
too; you have no idea of the hazard to 
which you expo c e my poor little Frances:" 
and Mrs. Wilton kissed her young 
relative, and whispered her to " beg papa 
to let her stay with them till Christmas : 
he could then come for her." 

Frances was placed in an awkward 
dilemma : she could not prefer a peti- 
tion ; she had no wish left to attain. She 
had been long enough at Mount Wilton, 
to feel all the value of the home to which 
she was returning; and, though no ac- 
tual un kindness had been done her, the 
volatility of her cousins had led her into 
faults she was ashamed to acknowledge 



107 

even to herself. She hoped to nn- 
urthen her heart to the friend, whose 
tdvice at parting now seemed almost 
rophetic. " She had not thought be- 
ore she spoke;'' " avoided the fault of 
lasty judgment;" "refrained from talking 
>f the concerns of strangers;" or "re- 
nembered how lately she had lamented 
ler defalcation on these several points." 
\s this review passed through her mind, 
ler courage rose ; and, with a manner 
inn but respectful, she confessed "she 
lould not be happy, if separated from 
er father ;" adding, that "she likewise 
ished to return to her regular lessons." 
"You have frightened the child," 
aid Mrs. Wilton, addressing Mr. Aus- 
en; "such sentiments are not at all 
.atural at her age. I believe few mo- 
hers (though I ought not to say so in 
heir presence), have more reason to be 
atisfied with the attainments of their 
tiildren than myself; yet, I confess, we 
ave had many thorns in our path, 
uiny difficulties in our progress ; but 



108 

you see tvhat has been done ? Indeed, 
my dear sir, we must allow, that out 
present enlightened mode of education 
necessarily imposes much fatigue, con- 
siderable mental effort: that children 
should shrink from a system, which in 
some particulars seems to abridge that 
personal liberty so much prized in the 
season of juvenile health and spirits, is 
quite natural. IVe know it is for their 
good, therefore we persevere ; but that 
a young person can really take pleasure 
in the system, is certainly out of the 
question. My sweet love," continued 
Mrs. Wilton, patting her young relative 
on the cheek; "we do not expect you 
to like your lessons; you like them, be- 
cause you know it is dear papa's wish 
that you should be clever and accom- 
plished ; but you know you would rather 
play, and dispose of your time according 
to your own pleasure : would you not, 
Frances?" 

" I have nothing to do at home but 



109 

what I like, ma'am," said Frances; 
" I have as much leisure as I desire." 
" Astonishing docility !" exclaimed 
Mrs. Wilton: "mark that, girls!' 1 
addressing herself to her daughters. 
" Well, if this lasts, I have nothing to 
say ; but, my clear Mr. Austen, you 
must be vigilant. I suspect there is 
some negligence in the plan at present 
pursued ; remember mere mediocrity 
\vill not do in these times: being an 
only child, much will be expected 
from her." 

"I hope not," said Mr. Austen, 
laughing; "happily, there is no dan- 
ger of my daughter's being conspicu- 
ous in any way : did I conceive it pos- 
sible that she should disappoint my 
expectations, and become the sort of 
being you describe, it would give me 
real concern ; nay, I believe I should 
make her retrace her path to child- 
hood, and adopt some other system, 
that would make her effectually un- 
learn all she had imbibed." 

VOL. I. K 



110 

"Understand ine, my good sir,*' 
returned Mrs. Wilton; "I do not 
wish our dear Frances to be a wonder. 
Oh, no ! I have seen enough of that 
sort of thing, to dislike it as much as 
you do ; our neighbour Lady Jane has 
surfeited me in this way ; and, be- 
tween ourselves, there is something 
vastly unfeminine in a girl's professing 
a predilection for studies that belong 
exclusively to the other sex. No, it 
is not the study of algebra or geome- 
try that I would wish your daughter 
to pursue ; she must be a musician, an 
artist, a linguist ; and the accomplish- 
ment of dancing must not be omitted. 
Now all this is a very arduous under- 
taking, and necessary, if she wish to 
equal those of her own rank." 

41 But, suppose my daughter has nei- 
ther taste nor talents for the acquire- 
ments you deem essential," returned 
Mr. Austen; " would it not be a deplor- 
able waste of time and money, to compel 
her fo learn these things? admitting it 



Ill 

to be fair that she should attempt what 
is usually thought requisite in female 
education. I consider it unfeeling as 
well as useless, to make mere embellish- 
ments compulsory. I might regret the 
deficiencies in her natural taste, which 
made her indifferent to pursuits which, 
if moderately pursued, are pleasing and 
harmless; but, if she evinced a desire to 
learn those of a more abstruse kind, if 
she preferred figures to music ; I see BO 
objection to her devoting a portion of 
her time to algebra. Geometry might 
also in the same way employ some of her 
leisure hours, while the pursuits of a fe- 
male are quietly followed : so long as we 
can believe she is interested in them for 
themselves, and not with any view to 
their placing her above others of her 
age; so long they are innocent, and 
claim our respect. Every intellectual 
exertion repays the diligent inquirer. 
The returns are not immediate. I grant 
it is in after-life that the treasures of a 
\yell-stored mind remunei-ate their po$- 
K 2 



sessor ; and believe me, my dear madam, 
we do well when we apply education to 
the pupil, in place of expecting a ge- 
neral system to be of use with creatures 
as various in their capacities as their 
features." 

"I have done," said Mrs. Wilton; 
" I perceive this dear little treasure is 
to be reared upon the Milner-plan ; but 
nothing can be more erroneous, and you 
mil yet find / am in the right." 

" The Milner-plan, as you are pleased 
to call it," returned Mr. Austen, smi- 
ling, "can only prove efficient where si- 
milar intellect is discoverable. Frances 
gives no promise of being able to vie 
with that charming and elegant young 
person. On the contrary, I see much 
that requires correction. She must 
learn to feel and act correspondingly, 
before she can be classed with any other 
than the most frivolous and unthinking 
of her age." 

Frances stood abashed : her heart was 
full. Her father saw her distress; and, as 



113 

he dreCv her affectionately to his side, 
said: "It may appear harsh to tell 
you thus much before your cousins, but 
they have witnessed your errors. Your 
friends here consider you with indul- 
gence, and will, I trust, place your foi- 
bles in the most favourable light; and, 
though I cannot accuse myself of any 
intentional neglect as a father, I look 
back with shame on numberless omis- 
sions, which my mistaken fondness led 
me to believe were proofs of affection. 
Henceforth we will be guided, Frances; 
the means are in our power, and we \vi4l 
avail ourselves of them." 

The conscious Frances w 4 as soothed 
by this appeal. Uncertain as are all our 
projects for the future, the human mind 
as gladly grasps at the promise it holds 
out, as it fearfully shrinks from all un T 
pleasant reminiscences. 

The Mount-Wilton family now looked 
forward to the departure of their visit- 
ors as a period that would release them 
from a fatiguing restraint. The young 
K 3 



114 

ladies were infinitely amused when alone 
in talking of their quizzical relative. 
They agreed it was a pity Lady Jane 
should remain ignorant of Mr. Austen's 
good opinion; hut they did not promise 
lo be the hearers of his sentiments. For 
poor Frances they felt the utmost com- 
passion, more especially as she was not 
a girl of talent; and they readily concluded 
the child would he boiled to death with 
study, if not sent to a premature grave. 

That the Miss Wiltons really thought 
as they said, is questionable ; for Caro- 
line, in her cooler moments, had more 
than once pronounced Frances "a sen- 
sible girl, and by no means so unmo- 
dern as she had expected to find her." 

While they were engaged in a new 
reading of their cousin's character, 
Frances was employed in apprizing Miss 
Colville of her father's resolution to re- 
turn home. As she took her pen for 
this purpose, all the awkwardness at- 
tendant upon epistolary delays pressed 
on her mind. She had promised to write 



115 

frequently voluntarily promised ; for 
Miss Colville had not exacted it of her ; 
and yet she had only written once since 
her arrival. After some uncomfortable 
thinking, and a trifling waste of writing- 
paper, she expressed herself thus : 

"MY DEAR MISS COLVILLE, 

" I am quite ashamed of myself; and, if 
you had not the best reasons for doubt- 
ing my word, I would promise never to 
make a promise again. But I know you 
disapprove engagements in girls ; so I 
will only say I am sorry for it. We shall 
be in Harley-street on Friday; arid I 
hope to find you as willing to overlook 
my neglect, as I am sincerely delighted 
at the thought of seeing you again. I 
have much to tell you ; pray be prepared 
to hear that I have been very t very 
faulty since we parted ; and, what grieves 
me more than I can describe, I am sure 
my papa is not satisfied with me. He 
has looked so grave, and spoken to me 
in such serious terms, that I never felt sq 



116 

unhappy in my life. You shall know all 
when \ve meet. Lady Jane is at Bloom- 
Hill. I have seen her, and she was ex- 
tremely kind to me. Will you have the 
goodness to order dinner for us : xve hope; 
to reach town by six o'clock. My papa- 
presents his best compliments ; and I am, 

My dear Miss Colville, 
Yours affectionately, 

FRANCES AUSTEN." 
Mounl-Wilton ; Sept. \7th. 

Indefinite as was the confession 
contained in this letter, Frances felt 
more satisfied with herself when it was 
dispatched ; and, when her cousins 
joined her, she was able to meet their 
raillery with cheerfulness. 

"So you have been writing to your 
governess,'* said Caroline ; " what could 
you feay to her? I suppose she expects 
you to express great pleasure at return- 
ing to your studies ; is not that the 
word, Frances ?*' 

"Not the word she likes," replied 



117 

Frances; "for she laughs at it, and 
says it is almost affectation when applied 
to girls." 

" Then your duties !" interjoined 
Marian ; " am not I excellent at a guess ? 
But really, child, you will write remark- 
ably well," looking at the superscription 
of Frances's letter ; "and without lines 
too : why it is only very lately that I 
could scribble a note without ruling my 
paper." 

" Miss Colville objects to letters being 
ruled, " returned Frances ; " she said 
it was only by practice I could conquer 
the habit of writing uneven, and I could 
not begin too early." 

"How provoking it must be," said 
Marian, " to have one's writing torn up, 
which I suppose was your case at first, 
Caroline ? If poor Marsden had pro- 
posed such a plan to us, how black we 
should have looked." 

"I think so, indeed," observed Caro- 
line, laughing; "but, to do her justice, 
she did not trouble us much with plans, 
which was all the better; for your syste- 



118 

niatic people are very fatiguing*, grea 
bores. Don't you think so, Frances ?' 
"If I understand the meaning of th 
word systematic," replied Frances, 
think people may be very pleasing 
though they may think it necessary to 
pursue a regular plan in their habit 
and conduct." 

<; How like an old woman you talk, 
exclaimed Caroline, laughing ; " but 
see you are pleading the cause of you 
governess. It is quite unnecessar 
with us, my dear ; we know her to be 
great quiz. 

4 * It is so impossible to please you b 
any thing I can say," retorted Frances, 
"that I shall not at tempt to set you right 
respecting Miss Colville. She must 
know you ; yet I never heard her speak 
of you ; though you say you never took 
any notice of her from the day Lady 
Jane declined your ball-invitation." 

"She could expect nothing else from 
us, after such rudeness," returned Miss 
Wilton; "and I thinkit wouldhavebeen 



rather presumptuous, had she ventured 
to give an opinion concerning us, more 
especially to you, who are our relation. " 
Frances looked as though she re- 
gretted the reserve Miss Colville had 
adopted on this subject; yet she had 
:he good sense to understand the 
liberality which dictated it. Greatly 
as the Miss Wiltons relied upon their 
'talents for ridicule, they were not satis- 
fied that Frances was affected by their 
fvit. They had tried her in all ways ; 
mad laughed at those she esteemed, 
misrepresented one she was inclined to 
admire; and, though they had brought 
her to laugh with them upon more than 
Due occasion, it was evident she soon re- 
dded from their dictation, and was 
ashamed of their temporary influence. 
Such a girl was more likely to humble 
them, even with their mother, whose 
:nind was by no means so easy on their 
Account as her parental gentleness too 
3ften represented it to be. On the con- 
trary, Mrs. Wilton was beginning to find 



120 

her system of education somewhat im- 
perfect : her authority was frequently op- 
posed, and her partial praises of them as 
often adduced in argument as proofs of 
her internal satisfaction ; though she 
thought it judicious to stimulate them to 
exertion, by affecting her disappointment. 
On one of these occasions Frances had 
been present ; and, upon Marian's pertly 
denying that more money had been ex- 
pended upon them than upon most girls 
in their station of life, she exclaimed, 
" Oh ! Marian, it is your mother that 
speaks !" Convinced of her error, she 
instantly apologized to her cousin, and 
ran out of the room. Mrs. Wilton was 
touched by this trait of just feeling; and, 
in all her subsequent views for the im- 
provement of her young friend, was 
heard to say " that Frances was a child 
of excellent sense and good feeling, and 
that her anxiety to see her finished by a 
certain polish of manners, &c. was great- 
ly increased since she made her out :" as 
she termed it. 



121 

Mr. Austen was firm. It really appear- 
ed that his visit to Mount- Wilton had 
given a new bias to his judgment. He 
saw the fallacy in suffering fashion to in- 
fluence or guide education ; -that two 
girls, whom nature had destined to be 
the comfort of their widowed parent, 
were, in reality, the causes of much silent 
anxiety ; and, while he exonerated Mrs. 
Wilton from any intention of leading him 
into a similar mistake, he was compelled 
to wonder how she could continue to 
prize things unessential in themselves, 
an*d in their result so unsatisfactory, in 
her own family. 

"Good sense and good feeling," ex- 
claimed he one day when Mrs. Wilton 
had so designated the character of 
Frances ; " my dear ma'am, we must not 
decide too hastily ; what more is requisite 
to form a perfect character ? Good 
sense is reason adorned by industry and 
reflection ; and the good feeling which 
such training must produce, is that spe- 
cies of equity which teaches its possessor 

L 



138 

to do as they would be done by. Is hot 
this the perfection of human nature ; 
that the point to which it is wisdom to 
aspire, but presumptuous to claim ?" 

The inconsistencies which mistaken 
tenderness will lead too-ductile parents 
into, instantly led Mrs. Wilton to 
press the necessity of making Frances 
accomplished, according to the fashion- 
able interpretation of the word. "She 
trembled," she said, "lest the dearchild 
was only to be made good and amiable ; 
and she entreated that her studies 
might be diversified: so many hours 
given to music, so many to drawing. 
&c. Let her study history in all its 
branches ; without that, you know, a wo- 
man now appears a Hottentot insociety." 

11 I will consult her future happiness 
no less than her capacity," returned Mr. 
Austen: "she shall read; and I shall 
hope to see her acquire that taste for the 
highest of all intellectual enjoyments, 
that may ultimately make it a source of 
pleasing reflection and certain profit. A 



123 

late excellent divine* has remarked, that 
'man's wisdom hath filled innumerable 
volumes ; the Gospel is comprised in 
one :' it shall be my endeavour to make 
her comprehend the value of that one. I 
will, if possible, teach her from it to feel 
her obligations as a Christian ; and, if 
afterwards she can depart from its pre- 
cepts and the practice it enjoins, who 
will then dare tell me that she posseses 
sense and good feeling ?" 

To dissent from opinions thus seri- 
ously avowed, was impossible ; nor did 
Mrs. Wilton attempt it : her heart told 
her it was a system that lay open to all, 
and could not conscientiously be disre- 
garded. She sighed, as she allowed 
that the earlier years of her daugh- 
ters had been directed by a female of an 
erroneous faith : her plan had retarded, 
or delayed, the religious part of their edu- 
cation. She supposed all children were 
alike ; for she had not found them fond of 

* Dr. Gilpin, prebendary of Salisbury. 



serious reading, as they might have been, 
had they applied themselves to it early. 

With sentiments that appeared to be 
so diametrically opposite, though they 
were in reality more in unison than one 
party felt inclined to allow, there follow- 
ed a visible restraint on their behaviour. 
Mr. Austen was unwilling to urge opi- 
nions that glanced at the oversight of a 
fond but mistaken mother; while that 
mother evidently shrunk from an analysis 
of her feelings. They parted. Frances 
returned to her home ; and Mrs. Wilton 
seriously proposed to herself the adoption 
of the very plan she had recently avowed 
to be unsuccessful with her daughters. 

Frances met Miss Colville with un- 
feigned warmth. A brief but faithful ac- 
count of all she had said and done was 
poured to the ear of her governess. 
Miss Colville, smiling, declared she must 
take time to separate the chaff from the 
wheat. 

" Oh ! I have been wrong altogether," 
said Frances; "yet believe me, dear 



125 

Miss Colville, I had no sooner erred 
than I discovered my fault." 

"I do believe you," observed Miss Col- 
ville ; " for conscience is an active moni- 
tor : the heart will condemn us for a 
\\rongact, though all the world applaud." 

" It will indeed/' returned Frances; 
"but in me it was very wrong; for you 
know I had previously regretted my pre- 
judices, and acknowledged that they had 
no foundation in truth." 

" Few prejudices are founded in truth, 
Frances," said Miss Colville; "and 
it is the conviction of this which adds to 
our criminality in retaining them. Now 
observe the contrast. I cannot imagine 
your manner towards Lady Jane to have 
been very engaging, yet hear how she 
speaks of you.' 1 Miss Colville produced 
a letter from her ladyship, and read as fol- 
lows : 'llikeyourpupilmuch; sheappears 
intelligent and amiable ; I believe I told 
you so much, after meeting her at my 
aunt's. I have seen more of her here. 
L 3 



126 

The Miss Wiltons cannot agree with me 
respecting her abilities : I did not ven- 
ture, in consequence, to hroach the sub- 
ject ; nor was I qualified to do so : for 
how could I know iier dispositions or at- 
tainments, from the casual interviews I 
had with her in London ? It was in a 
morning-visit at Bloom-Hill I discovered 
her to be a very pleasing, sensible girl. I 
have asked Mr. Austen's permission to 
let her accompany you hither at Christ- 
mas : he made no objection, and I shall 
hope to see her with you.' 

" How kind, how very good !" said 
Frances : and the tears stood in her 
eyes. Ci Please to read that part again, 
about judging of dispositions at first 
sight.'' Miss Col ville complied. 

"How liberal !" continued Frances; 
" so she really thought favourably of me 
when we met at Mrs. PercivaFs ; and 
at that moment I was seeking to find 
out her defects ! Lady Jane must in- 
deed be an amiable girl !" 

"She thinks and acts properly upon 



127 

most occasions, my love," returned 
Miss Colville ; "and is naturaly dis- 
posed to take the fairest view of things 
generally. I should have thought her 
illiberal, had she decided upon your cha- 
racter at a first interview. But only 
reflect, Frances, had such been her dis- 
position, how disadvantageous the re- 
sult would have proved to you !" 

" She would have despised me," said 
Frances, " could she have formed an 
idea of my meanness." 

tl I hope she is incapable of despising 
any thing but vice," returned Miss 
Colville ; "your expressions are strong, 
because your feelings are roused. We 
must correct this habit, my love ; but, 
while we are upon the subject of preju- 
dices, let me add, that their indul- 
gence, as connected with our happi- 
ness in this life, are highly dangerous ; 
" and, though we may forget their injus- 
tice, there yet is something lamentable 
in seeing people thus making misery 
for themselves. What peace can that 



128 

mind enjoy which is always judging 
its fellow-creatures, perverting their 
thoughts, and rrisconstruing their ac- 
tions ? An existence so carried on 
must be wretched; but to see infants 
in the ways of the world putting 
themselves forward as censors, calls up 
the most painful considerations. I am 
willing to grant that their ignorance, 
the peculiarity of their judgment, may 
make the assumption of the task of 
such criticism appear ridiculous ; yet, 
believe me, habit is a dangerous erf- 
croacher ; and the girl who sets out by 
decrying the faults of her sex or fel- 
low-beings, will never render herself 
estimable to the better part of it." 

Among the minor difficulties that 
marked this period of Frances's life, 
was the embarrassment she felt respect- 
ing her cousins. She knew not how 
to couch her opinions of their general 
behaviour, their unrestrained way of 
speaking of every one ; and, above all, 
the very pointed language they had 



129 

used whenever her governess had been 
mentioned. To be silent on subjects 
that really occupied her mind, and on 
which it was so natural she should 
speak, required more prudence than 
Frances Austen possessed ; nor was it 
desirable that a reserve so great should 
exist between persons living in their 
relative situation. But how to begin, 
was the question. Happily Miss Col- 
ville spared her this difficulty, by in- 
quiring if the Miss Wiltons were go- 
ing to France, as she had heard they 
intended. 

Frances could not answer this ; but 
the opening thus presented was not 
lost. She wondered her governess had 
not told her she knew the Miss Wil- 
tons. "They know you very well ;" 
and she endeavoured to translate from 
the expression of Mias Colville's coun- 
tenance what effect this information 
produced. All was calm and good- 
humoured : her governess seemed to 
retain no recollection of their rudeness. 



ISO 

Perhaps, after all, they are like me, 
thought Frances; and can say rude 
things of people distantly, while they 
appear very civil in their presence. 

"Miss Wilton is very handsome," 
said Miss Colville ; "and her sister has 
the finest countenance I ever saw." 

"I think them both beautiful," ob- 
served Frances ; "and they are reckoned 

highly accomplished; but" She 

paused. "There is no harm in say- 
ing what one really thinks ; is there?" 

"Not if we think \vell of a person, 
or the occasion demands us to speak 
what we know," returned Miss Col- 
ville, smiling; "ours is only common 
chit-chat; therefore you have no right 
to give me an unfavourable impression 
of the party." 

" I hope I did not intend that," said 
Frances ; "yet I should like to ask you 
a few questions. Did you think my 
cousins very accomplished when you 
knew them? Were they polite in their 
manners ? And do you believe that 



131 

Caroline's foot is smaller than Lad}' 
Jane Milner's?" 

Miss Colville could not avoid A 
smile at the last question ; it was one 
she had heard before contested, but 
greatly to the discomfort of Caroline 
Wilton. Her unfortunate shoe-maker 
had lost her favours for having as- 
serted, and immediately after proved, 
the impracticability of forcing a short 
broad foot into a slim well-proportioned 
slipper. ' ' I did not consider the young 
ladies particularly successful in accom- 
plishments, " said Miss Colville ; ' ' they 
appeared to want the chief qualification 
to success in any pursuit perseve- 
rance. They tried every thing ; but, 
with the exception of dancing, I do 
not think they can be said to be ac- 
complished." 

"Now then I may speak out," 
said Frances. " You know as well as 
I do that Lady Jane excels them in 
that art too; but that's nothing. Ma- 
rian plays the harp prettily ; and. since 



152 

she has learned to touch that instru- 
ment she has entirely given up the 
piano, though Mrs. Wilton wants her 
to keep up the practice. She told papa 
Marian had had'inore than two hun- 
dred pounds expended on her music 
masters and mistresses: is not that a 
pity?" 

" It is very ungrateful in a child to 
resist the wishes of her parent, cer- 
tainly; " returned Miss Colville. 

"Drawing they neither of them 
like," continued Frances; "yet they 
make comical sketches sometimes. Do 
you know they can draw such laugh- 
able caricatures, and such likenesses, 
that you would know the persons in- 
stantly. They drew one of Lady Jane, 
and one of her papa. I was quite vexed 
with myself ; but indeed it was im- 
possible to help laughing at them ; that 
is, at the first sight/' 

" I pity the girls who can find plea- 
sure in the exercise of a talent so un- 
auriable," said Mis > Colville; "your 
- 3 



133 

laughing at a design of the kind, is by 
no means extraordinary ; we are all 
more or less affected by the sight of 
t'hings ludicrous ; but I hope you did 
not partake of their error, by applauding 
that which really deserved reprehen- 
sion ?" 

"Ididnot," replied Frances ; "for 
I was so sorry at having laughed, that I 
<begged them to shut up their portfolio, 
and I declared I would not see any 
more of their caricatures." 

"That was delicate, Frances," re- 
turned Miss Colville ; " the very best 
reproof you could have given them. 
We are all liable to be involved in the 
mistakes of others; and the only assu- 
rance we can give that our minds are 
not similarly disposed, is by openly 
dissenting from the principles we disap- 
prove. You must yet be aware, there 
are situations in which this may be 
done without saying a word. The 
case in question, however, I can readily 
believe to have been too prominent to 

H 



134 

admit of silent dissent ; I therefore 
commend your candour?" 

"I am sure you know more of my cou- 
sins than you choose to avow," said 
Frances, smiling; "you understand their 
dispositions so exactly. You are quite 
right in say ing silence would not do with 
them ; for when I turned away from 
the caricatures, and was looking at 
some views in Marian's book, they still 
kept holding up different likenesses to 
me, and begged me not to cry at seeing 
dear Mrs. Musgrave in her Sunday- 
gown. Many other sketches of visitors 
I saw; so I was at last forced to say 
what I have told you." 

"Of the Miss Wiltons I had certainly 
formed a decided opinion previously 
to your visit, my dear," returned Miss 
Colville; "but to have impressed you 
unfavourably against persons to whom 
you were then a stranger, a family 
connected with your late excellent mo- 
ther, would have been most unjust. 
Exertion and time might have im- 



m 

proved them ; and had I spoken as I 
really thought of them, should I not 
have committed the very error I had 
endeavoured to correct in you? How 
could you be certain T was not preju- 
diced? No : I avoided this ; but I pre- 
pared your papa to meet two hand- 
some girls, with quick lively imagina- 
tions, and an uncommon flow of lan- 
guage, considering their years. I at 
the same time pointed out those traits 
in their dispositions most likely to affect 
a girl of your temper ; and I suggested 
the necessity of his guarding you 
against a foible very usual at your age, 
that of imitating the whims and ca- 
prices of a new acquaintance, which, re- 
commended as I knew they would be 
by the vivacity and personal beauty of 
your cousins, were likely to catch your 
attention, if not more." 

" How well }ou kiiow my disposi- 
tion," said Frances, laughing ; "I 
own I thought the Miss \Y iltons the 
most delightful girls I ever saw ; in* 
M 2 



136 

deed, I was so much pleased with them 
the two first days, that I could do no- 
thing but admire them. I almost thought 
papa unkind ; for, when I spoke of their 
beauty, and called him to admire their 
accomplishments, he called me a silly 
girl, and desired me not to speak of 
things I did not understand. Now you 
have explained what you said to him be- 
fore we left home, I can account for his 
being so indifferent to my remarks. In- 
deed, I soon altered my opinion respect- 
ing their abilities ; my papa only laughed 
at me when I said so, and begged me to 
think again, if I did not mean the attain- 
ments of my cousins when I spoke of 
their abilities." 

" Your eagerness to speak frequently 
leadsyou toexpress yourself ambiguously, 
my dear," said Miss Colville. "In the 
instance you have related, it must be 
evident you did not express what you in- 
tended. But allow me to observe, the 
Miss Wiltons, in this particular, seldom 
commit themselves, I do not say that I 



137 

like to hear girls give their opinions as 
they do ; yet I must confess, they seldom 
use expressions that are not applicable 
to the sentiments they would impart." 

"But you say it is vulgar to call 
every thin a bore," rejoined Frances; 
"and they do that constantly ; indeed, 
they make use of many odd phrases. 
Papa was very angry with me for saying 
I did not care two-pence about a walk we 
had projected one morning, but were 
prevented from taking by a shower of 
rain. He asked me where I had learn- 
ed such vulgarisms? I could not reply ; 
for it was Marian who was always saying 
so : and more than once she said papa 
was quizzical, and that I should be a per- 
fect faddle by the time I came out." 

"Then I fear your cousins have not 
acquired steadiness of character since I 
knew them," said Miss Colville. "Elo- 
quence, like any other natural gift, may, 
by bad taste or vanity, lose its value. The 
phrases you adduce are certainly inele- 
gant ; and, though you may perchance 
M '3 



138 

hear them repeated in the society of 
grown persons, you must avoid con- 
tracting a habit of imitation. They 
cannot be justified; though I allow they 
prevail where better things might be 
expected. There is a sort of fashion 
in all cant words, which may for the 
most part be traced to the stage. 
There, however, they are assigned to 
some prominent personage, some cha- 
racter that is to be conspicuous from 
its affectation or its ignorance. In 
private life, no such motive can or 
ought to be observable. If a man 
fall into this error, he becomes a 
mimic, a buffoon ; while a female, who 
adopts this sort of language, loses sight 
of that delicacy which should be distin- 
guishable in all she says. It is, in 
fact, masculine ; and, whatever bears 
that character, must be unfit for wo- 
men." 

" I agree with you," said Frances ; 
<f my cousins do express themselves 
very well sometimes; and I almost 



envy them in one particular, they 
liavesuch excellent memories." 

'-'The Miss Wiltons have been un- 
fortunate in being brought forward so 
early in life," returned Miss Colville. 
11 When mere infants, they were per- 
mitted to give their opinions upon sub- 
jects that could neither improve their 
intellects, nor give real satisfaction to 
those who listened to them. I think 
they would have been intelligent girls., 
had their undemanding been culti- 
vated ; as it is, I fear their poor mamma 
has yet to experience the disappoint- 
ment usually consequent on all cases 
of extreme and undeviating indul- 
gence." 

1 ' But, is it not very wrong to indulge 
children so much?" asked Frances. 

"Were you to put this question to 
your cousins, Frances," returned Miss 
Colville, "they would deny that they 
had been indulged more than other 
girls ; nay, you have adduced one in- 
stance in which Marian Wilton said 



140 

something similar respecting her mu- 
sic. Does this contradict my assertion ? 
or is it not favourable to what I have 
often told you, that indulged children 
are seldom grateful to those who, 
through mistaken fondness or affec- 
tion, certainly intended to make them 
happy. This, however, cannot soften 
the deep, the complicated guilt of those 
who, forgetting their obligations to 
their parents, presume to blame the 
conduct of their early guardians. Yet 
I have known many who have 

"O'erstepped the modesty of fearful duty." 

I pity them : the hour will come, when 
they will deeply lament the breach of 
a commandment, which never yet was 
broken without ultimately producing 
the most poignant grief in the trans- 
gressor." 

" Suppose a girl was to perceive that 
her parents indulged her too much," 
said Frances; "I mean a grown-up girl : 
what ought she to do, if she feels their 



141 

tenderness does harm in place of 
good ?" 

"I can scarcely imagine such a 
case, Frances," returned Miss Col- 
ville; "if by tenderness you would 
signify an anxious parent, one who de- 
votes herself to her children ; if such 
a mother meets in her daughter dispo- 
sitions that are not soothed by her 
kindness, and grateful for her care, I 
should say that the mother perhaps 
erred in bestowing her affections so 
unreservedly; but the child must be 
deficient in common sense and com - 
mon feeling, if she did not value the 
attentions of a mother ; her heart must 
be insensible, or her temper una- 
miable." 

"Yet I am almost certain Caroline 
Wilton," said Frances, "thinks her 
mother has been too indulgent to her. 
She said as much ; but, for all that, I 
know she loves her mamma ; and, when 
she looks pale, and has those terrible 
head-achs she is subject to, I never 



142 

saw any one more wretched than Caro- 
line." 

"I consider this very possible, my 
dear," returned Miss Colville ; "for 
it is then Miss Wilton is conscious that 
she has failed in her duty; and this, 
added to the alarm which the indispo- 
sition of a parent must always excite, 
makes her unhappy." 

" Might not a daughter try to im- 
prove herself, and strive to correct the 
foibles which indulgence had occasion- 
ed?" asked Frances. 

" Safely ; and such an attempt would 
do her honour," replied Miss Colville ; 
" provided that vanity, an opinion of 
her own method and plans, did not 
suggest the effort. I do not expect 
young persons to be blind or indiffer- 
ent to what is passing before them. We 
are constantly calling upon them to 
exercise their reason, and correct their 
judgment, by detecting the fallacies, 
and pursuing the real ornaments, of 
existence. For, contrary toyour maxim, 



143 

Frances, life is one scene of imitation ; 
and happy are they who select the best 
models ! But, in this laudable endea- 
vour, we must guard against that pride 
of heart which self-correction is too 
apt to inspire. Nor must he who has 
seen the evil of his ways erect himself 
into a judge of others. By departing 
from what is erroneous, we prove our 
desire to amend. It is not possible to 
look back upon mispent time, errors 
of temper, or want of duty, without 
regret. But the radical improvement 
of a mind thus awakened must be 
doubtful, if, in his new character, he 
throws all the blame of his past life 
upon his advisers. There must have 
been something in our own breast 
which aided the impression given, a 
something that suited the then temper 
of our mind. " 

tl l think 7 shall not be spoiled by 
indulgence," said Frances, with a lan- 
guid smile ; (i I only hope papa has not 
seen any thing so very wrong in my be- 
haviour as to lessen his love for me." 



144 






The tears rose in her eyes as she ven- 
tured to express a fear so wounding 
to an affectionate heart. Miss Col- 
ville quieted her doubts ; and, while 
she expatiated on those points in her 
conduct which had justly excited alarm 
in the mind of Mr. Austen, she did not 
allow her pupil to feel too certain of her- 
self. "From false indulgence, my dear 
child, I trust I have saved you," she 
continued ; " yet who will dare to say the 
motives of your papa were not such as 
he thought would conduce to your hap- 
piness ? Your situation, as a motherless 
girl, imposed an arduous task upon your 
remaining parent; deeply sensible of his 
own loss, your father beheld in you a 
little helpless being, whose claims* were 
enhanced by the deprivation she had 
sustained : and while you grew into 
power, and usurped rights it had not en- 
tered his mind to confer, he uncon- 
sciously ministered to that self-will, which 
would, in time, have made you arrogant, 
if not ungrateful.'* 



Conversations like these, resumed 
as circumstances favoured their intro- 
duction, produced the best effects on 
the mind of Frances Austen; for, 
though she had been successively 
treated as a woman and an infant, 
during her visit at Mount Wilton, she 
was of an age to be pleased by those 
appeals to the understanding, which 
are too often withheld from a fear of 
damping the spirits of youth, or 
wounding their sensibility. The spi- 
rits of children are generally in pro- 
portion to their health ; and reproof^ 
however offered, seldom makes any 
lasting impression. 

Of sensibility, in its true accepta- 
tion, children possess very little; 
simply because this quality of the heart 
embraces a much wider field of ac- 
tion than can attach to the half-formed 
mind of youth. It is allowed, that 
the seeds of this " gracious quality" 
are sometimes found in children ; but 
it is asserted, that they are often 

VOL. I. N 



146T 

choked in their growth by the in- 
judicious culture of too indulgent 
friends. How common is it to hear 
ohvious selfishness thus miscalled ! and 
the child who displays the deformity 
soothed, and almost persuaded to con- 
tinue the practice. The memory of 
childhood, as connected with external 
circumstances, is, for the most part, 
brief and indefinite. Let self inter- 
pose, and their acutcncss is wonderful ! 
The whim that has succeeded ;* the 
humour that proved effective in pro- 
curing the object for which it was 
adopted ; how readily do they suggest 
themselves at the moment of need ! 
and the young adept, clad in his fear- 
less armour, opposes himself to the 
veteran in years. 

It may be said this language is harsh, 
and inapplicable to children ; it is 
maintained to be just, that even in- 
fants will elicit this species of address ; 
and that we are all in the habit of en- 
couraging them to pursue a system, 



147 

\\iiich, if equally prominent in after- 
lite, would render them artful and hy- 
pocritical. 

Human life, that brief tale, so often 
told and so constantly forgotten, is 
but the record of commissions and 
omissions; and, while the former are 
held up to view, as partiality or malice 
shall dictate, the latter escape the no- 
tice of the commentator; when, in 
truth, it is our omissions, those minor 
oversights which our pride deems too 
insignificant to deserve consideration.; 
it is these which poison the sources 
of human happiness, and render us un- 
worthy of our calling as Christians. 
Temper, which, like the current coin 
of the realm, is the medium through 
which most of our comforts are pro- 
cured, is so little cultivated at that 
season when improvement is easy, and 
success almost certain, that it is need- 
less to wonder that we prove " light 
in the balance, " and become counter- 



148 

feit, wli'en we might have been ster- 
ling and real. 

Were the young from infancy taught 
to love virtue for its own sake, were 
they strangers to rewards for well-doing, 
by which those bribes which inculcate 
avarice are meant, and which set a price 
on things that should have their source 
in innate principle; much that disfigures 
our nature would be never seen. 

Mr. Austen, though delighted to per- 
ceive the mind of his daughter expand- 
ing, became cautious in his commenda- 
tions : her society was now his solace; 
and, while her cheerfulness channed 
many an hour that had formerly been 
passed in solitude, he was vigilant in 
detecting all approaches to levity, either 
in her language or manner. 

The peculiarities of age, the infirmi- 
ties or deformities of her fellow-crea- 
tures, if Frances imitated or derided 
cither, his displeasure was marked and 
ser ous ; nor was be less particular in 



149 

regard to that custom now so prevalent 
quizzing. 

"That you are liable to the insult 
you offer, is no excuse for its practice," 
\vould he say; "the indulgence of a 
taste of this description is particularly 
unbecoming a female: it occasions her 
to talk more than she should do ; her 
language must be suited to her sub- 
ject; consequently, it becomes mean; 
and from such habitual volubility the 
mind easily descends ; so that the fe- 
rnale who had given promise of some- 
thing better, will, from adhering to 
this habit, sink into a common trifler." 

In the latter part of the autumn 
Marian Wilton announced the intel- 
ligence Lady Jane had partially in- 
timated. Mrs. Wilton proposed pass- 
ing the winter at Paris; and Marian 
detailed her anticipations in this trip 
with all imaginable warmth. Her 
postcript, however, which was some- 
what diffuse, gave Mr. Austen some 
-alarm. 

N 3 



150 

<c ls not Caroline a great quizr" 
said the giddy writer. "She was in 
extacies at the idea of our trip ; now 
she wishes we were not going; and 
complains of her side, and fancies she 
has a cough. Fortunately she has en- 
joined me to secresy; for, as mamma 
is as pleased at going as I am, she is 
afraid it might delay, if not do away 
the project altogether, if mamma 
thought her at all indisposed. You 
may be sure / shall keep the secret." 

"You see how for a thoughtless 
disposition may lead those who really 
love us!" said Mr. Austen, as he re- 
turned Marian's letter to his daughter. 
" These girls are warmly attached to 
each other ; yet one consents to keep 
a secret, that may prove fatal to the 
other. I will not say that a selfish 
feeling influences your cousin ; hut I 
consider her not only wrong in the 
concealment, but faulty that she does 
not immediately impart all Caroline 
has said of herself, with such particu- 



lars as she may have observed con- 
nected with her sister's health." 

"But would it be right, sir, to be 
tray a secret?" asked Frances. 

"Poor Caroline erred in making 
such a request of her sister, my dear," 
returned her father; "her motive for 
so doing evinces self-denial ; but it is 
committing a second fault to keep a 
criminal promise; and affection should 
have dictated to Marian the propriety 
of apprizing her mother of a fact so 
serious. I must take that upon my- 
self," continued Mr. Austen, "since 
Marian is so imprudent." 

Fiances started; and, after a mo- 
ment's pause, said: "If you look a.t 
this part of the letter, sir, you will see 
Marian hopes I shall keep its general 
contents to myself." 

"In which she was extremely ab- 
surd," returned Mr. Austen, smiling; 
"my daughter's correspondents must 
be u'elL known to me; she can re- 
ceive no letter that I ought not to see; 



152 

and, when a juvenile correspondence 
becomes mysterious, it ceases to be 
desirable. In the present instance, 
Marian has unintentionally explained 
enough for me to act upon; and, as I 
see a prospect of bringing my plan into 
action, I will spare your feelings upon 
this occasion. I shall invite Mrs. 
Wilton and her daughters to pass a 
week with us, preparatory to their trip ; 
I shall make my own observations on 
the health of Caroline; and offer an 
opinion accordingly." 

Frances was greatly relieved by this 
arrangement: she- dreaded the raillery 
of Marian, who, she well knew, would 
consider this breach of confidence as 
one of those lamentable weaknesses 
connected with her character of tl a 
primitive little quiz." 

That our modes of expression are 
not always applicable, or illustrative 
of the ideas we would convey, must 
be obvious to all who attend to the 
common run of conversation. But 



153 

certainly there cannot be a greater 
solecism than that of calling Frances 
Austen "a primitive little quiz." 
! Habits of order, an attention to her 
language, or that preciseness in her 
personal appearance, which might have 
procured a designation of this descrip- 
tion, were not to be found in Frances. 

It was rather by contrasting uhat 
she had been, with those gleams of 
just thinking and gentle forbearance 
which were beginning to shew them- 
selves in her manner, that, led to the 
distinction here described : and, as it 
is the province of the witty to see tri- 
fles in that point of view that shall 
make them conspicuous and absurd, 
Frances had upon numberless occasi- 
ons borne the character of a quiz, when, 
really, she was only the selected victim 
of a quizzer. 

With all her knowledge of the Miss 
Wiltons' talent for ridicule, Frances felt 
sensible pleasure in the idea of receiving 
them as her guests. Change is always 



154 

agreeable to the young: she had many 
curiosities to shew them; her cabinet 
of shells was allowed to be valuable; 
her specimens of stones considered rare : 
and in her hours of leisure she was 
actively employed in arranging her trea- 
sures to the best advantage. 

Mrs. Wilton accepted the invitation ; 
and the party were expected in a few 
days. 

On the evening previous to their ar- 
rival, Mr. Austen was surprised by a 
visit from a young gentleman of the name 
of Douglas. He was the son of an offi- 
cer on service in the East Indies. His 
guardian, an Irish baronet, had accom- 
panied a party to Paris, and wholly for- 
got to make any arrangement for the 
disposal of Charles Douglas during his 
absence. He had left him at a public 
school; but a vacation, always a season 
of joy to the young scholar, had occur- 
red. Douglas repaired to the house of 
his guardian ; and with feelings of dismay 



155 

earned he was absent, and his return 
an certain. 

In this dilemma he waited upon Mr. 
Austen, and,withan air as unembarrassed 
ks he could command, requested his pro- 
tection for one night ; as it was his pur- 
pose to return to the next morning. 

Mr. Austen received the overture with 
readiness, applauded his application, 
\ud with hospitable warmth proposed his 
remaining in Harley-stree,t during the 
holidays. Douglas blushed, and hesi- 
tated : he was ashamed to confess how 
congenial such an arrangement would be 
to his feelings. 

Mr. Austen saw the struggle, and de- 
cided that it must be so. "I will make 
no apology," said he, "for lodging you 
in an attic ; it would be an affront to a 
school-boy ; who frequently rejects com- 
forts, that he may enjoy life according 
to his own irregular taste." 

Douglas, laughing, declared "he 
could sleep any-where; but at the same 
time hinted his fear that his present ap- 



15(3 

plication looked so much like seeking 
the invitation proposed, that he believed 
he must reject it, however agreeable." 

Mr. Austen silenced the scruples of 
his young friend ; and Douglas was im- 
mediately established in Harley-street 
for the vacation. 

Late in the afternoon of the succeed- 
ing day, the Mount-Wilton family ar- 
rived. The greetings of the young peo- 
ple were lively. Caroline seemed in 
good spirits ; and Mr. Austen hoped his 
fears for her would prove groundless. 
In the first interchange of How-d'y's, 
it could not be expected that a person in 
Miss Colville's situation should be re- 
membered. Marian, however, after ex- 
amining the drawing-room, and admiring 
all she saw, whispered an inquiry, 
" Where is your governess? will she 
dine with us?" 

* ' M iss Colville prefers her own room, " 
replied Frances. "She declines mixing 
with company whenever she can do so 
conveniently ; and papa begged she 



would do as she pleased while our 
friends were with us." 

Marian smiled at her sister, and in a 
subdued voice said, "How we shall ail 
grieve for this lady's absence." Caroline 
j-hook her head, and begged her sister to 
semember what their mamma had said 
spon that subject. " Oh, Frances, 
come here," continued Marian, " I 
iiave great news for you ; Caroline is 
getting so good, you cannot think. She 
calls me Madcap, and I call her Goody 
Cjraveairs; so we are even." It was 
a greet! that Frances should pass her 
mornings with Miss Colville, as usual ; 
after which, if the reports of her gover- 
ness were satisfactory, she was to join 
licr cousins. 

Marian disliked this arrangement ; 
snd with her usual aptness decided that 
ihe fastidious governess had projected 
this mode of depriving Frances of an 
i .:joyment that would otherwise have 
icen permitted. She appealed to Mr. 
Austen whether Frances might not have 
o 



Ifl 

holidays while they were in Harley- 
street. 

" Frances has no time to lose, Ma- 
rian," said Mr. Austen; " consider, 
my dear, she was at Mount Wilton 
three weeks : her afternoons shall be 
at her own disposal while you favor us 
with your company ; but even this in- 
dulgence she must earn. She knows 
the terms; and I am persuaded think* 
them equitable." 

Disappointed in her object, the un- 
daunted Marian soon found an op- 
portunity for facilitating an association 
which she greatly desired, viz. a meet- 
ing with Miss Colville. The motives 
which influenced her, would not, if 
explained, do much credit to her 
heart or understanding; as such, thei>- 
delineation will not be attempted. 

Miss Colvilie and her pupil dined at 
the usual hour. Marian begged permis- 
sion to take her luncheon with them. Mr. 
Austen assented ; convinced that this vo- 
latile and incorrigible girl would in Mi 



m 

Colville meet that firmness and amenity 
of manner which must for the time si- 
lence the mere babhler. He apprised 
Miss Colville of this little arrangement, 
and begged her to endure it no longer 
than was perfectly agreeable to herself. 

Poor Marian imagined that Miss 
Colville's recollections of the Moant- 
'U'ilton family must have left certain im- 
pressions of awe; and an unwillingness to 
juix with persons who had evinced their 
contempt ibr her must be the conse- 
quence. 

Such were her prepossessions. Had 
Miss Colville been called to give her sen- 
timents upon this knotty point, the case 
had been reversed. She might have 
hoped to perceive an improvement in 
their understanding, and perhaps ima- 
gined that a better knowledge of them- 
selves must by this period have taught 
them, that politeness is not made for any 
particular rank of life; that all persons 
whom we meet in respectable society 
have a claim to our civility ; and 
o 2 



360 

wherever this is dipensed with, the de- 
faulter is the degraded party. 

Unswayed by such principles, because 
a stranger to those niceties by which po- 
lished intercourse is distinguished, Ma- 
rian rushed into the eating-room at the 
appointed hour ; and, nodding a sort of 
half-recognition, took her place at table. 
Frances blushed, and seemed ready to 
apologize for her guest ; but contented 
herself by saying, " Marian, what an odd 
girl you are:" at the same time glanc- 
ing at Miss Colville. 

"I intended to bring you another 
oddity, my clear," returned the volatile 
girl ; "but Caroline is grown so shy, 
J could not persuade her to come." 
"What excellent potatoes!" the in- 
truder exclaimed, taking one from 
a dish at some distance from her, and 
dipping it in the salt she had elegantly 
strewed upon the table-cloth. 

Frances was all eye ; and, between 
her desire to reconcile Marian's actions 
t.Q that "oddness 1 ' to which she had 



161 

alluded, and her wish that Miss Col- 
ville might see it in the same point of 
view, became so embarrassed as to ex- 
cite the attention of Marian. 

"'Ah ! Frances, I see you are shock- 
ed at. my gaucheric; but recollect, my 
dear, our forefathers did the same. 
For my part, I should like to revive 
some of the old customs : it is certainly 
quite natural to use one's fingers, and 
much more safe. Don't you think so, 
ma'am ?" The latter sentence was ad- 
dressed to Miss Colville, with an iro- 
nical expression of countenance. 

"That the practice is natural, does 
not admit a question," returned Miss 
Colville, smiling; "for, Wherever man 
is found in an unenlightened state, the 
custom obtains. That it is worthy of 
imitation, is not so certain." 

"Oh! then, I suppose I am very 
naughty," said Marian ; " but I won't 
spoil Frances, if I can help it." 

" I do not fear your influence in this 
particular/'' said Miss Colville; "but, 
a 3 



162 

will you allow me to send you some 
chicken, ma'am." 

" If you please," said Marian; "but 
positively, Frances, if it was not that 
I have an amazing affection for you, I 
should be tempted to take this bone in 
my ringers ; it eats so much sweeter ; 
and, at a luncheon, you know, one 
does not attend to the graces ; at least, 
it is not of consequence. Are you 
quite sure you can resist such a 
naughty example ?" 

" Marian, you are so ridiculous,^ 
said Frances gravely ; " Caroline may 
well call you Madcap/' 

"I dare say you will permit Miss 
Wilton to enjoy her luncheon, my 
dear?" said MissColville ; and, taking- 
it for granted, turning to .Marian she 
added, "I beg, ma'am, you will use 
your pleasure." 

Marian was rather disconcerted; she 
had hoped to vex Miss Colville: it did 
not appear that she had succeeded. A 
new attack must be made; and her 



165 

fertile disposition suggested an infalli- 
ble specific for the purpose. 

" At what hour, Frances/' she asked, 
"did your papa say we should have the 
carriage ? You know we are to have 
yours to-day ; ours is gone to the coach- 
maker's to be made ready for travelling. 
Can you tell? was it at two or half-past ?" 

Frances did not know. 

" I hope mamma," continued Marian, 
" will call in Portman-square. I am 
dying to see Lady Jane. It is true, I 
assure you; so you need not look so full 
of wonder, child. Would you helieve 
that such a pattern-lady could conde- 
scend to follow us in any thing ?" Miss 
Colville could not resist a look of incre- 
dulity. " Yes," said Marian, "she ac- 
tually has done so ; she has had a dress 
made after one of Caroline's, and a pe- 
lisse exactly like mine." 

The smile with which Frances re- 
ceived this important information dilated 
into a downright fit of laughter, as she 
caught the countenance of her governess ; 



164 

for even Miss Colville seemed to put 
some restraint upon herself, to guard 
against the error of her pupil. But the 
half-imploring look she directed towards 
Frances, as if entreating her to spare the 
giddy babbler, so completely deranged 
the mortified Marian, that, with some 
asperity, she inquired " what she had 
said that was so very ridiculous?" 

"I must deprecate your indulgence 
for Miss Austen, ma'am/' said Miss 
Colville: "her expectation was some- 
what raised; and, unfortunately, the 
denouement, as I imagine, reminded her 
of a circumstance somewhat similar ; one 
with which we had both been greatly 
amused." 

Nothing could have been more vexa- 
tious than this apology ; which, to the ir- 
ritated Marian, seemed invented to mor- 
tify her. The very idea of such an insult 
from a person she considered so much 
beneath her, roused all her resentment; 
and, with a bitterness she could not con- 
troul, she said, "Of course; none 



165 

but an idiot can be surprised by a com- 
mon occurrence; it is the contempt one 
feels for the people who set themselves so 
much above others. I detest such af- 
fectation ; but I always knew she was a 
great quiz.' 5 

4 'If such be the case/' returned Miss 
Colville ; u I think it must be satisfactory 
to you to find your prediction so fully 
verified : for, next to the pleasure of 
giving certain attributes to particular 
persons, must be the conviction that our 
judgment is correct." 

Marian stared : this was not like a 
vindication ! What could she mean ! 
perhaps the party was mistaken. To 
place this beyond a doubt, M'as now her 
purpose ; yet there was a something in 
the manner of Miss Colville that led her 
to distrust the efficacy of her ridicule. 
It is probable she would have paused 
here, had not the features of Frances 
seemed to express satisfaction at her 
temporary defeat. This was not to be 
endured ; so, rallying her spirits, she half- 



166 

smiling, observed, " Indeed, lam not so 
illiberal as to increase the eccentricities 
of the lady in question : all who know. 
Lady Jane Mil tier must know she is a 
great quiz." 

" May I ask you to define the mean- 
ingof this fashionable expression ?" said 
Miss Colville calmly : " I have heard it 
applied variously ; but, perhaps you 
will illustrate it so as to convince me of 
its fitness in the present instance." 

" O dear; well, I declare I had almost 
forgotten that you lived with Lady Jane, " 
returned Marian. " Of course, it can- 
not be pleasant to you to hear her laugh- 
ed at ; but indeed she is a very strange 
girl : every body thinks so." 

" Ah ! that indefinite mischief-making 
phantom 'every- body, 'who is indeed no- 
body," cried Miss Colville, laughing; 
" I have not the least respect for his ta- 
lents: he is cruel as a flatterer, because 
his praise is injudicious; while, as an ene- 
my, his prejudices, though contemptible, 
are dangerous." 



167 

"I do not quite understand the ex- 
pression," said Frances ; "though I often 
hear it used." 

The word 'every-body,' my love," ob- 
served Miss Colville, "is sometimes 
used to convey the praise or censure of 
a small number of persons who may have 
flattered or debased an individual ; but 
it is more frequently adopted by an in- 
dividual as a vehicle for disseminating 
his own private sentiments, which are 
favourable, or the reverse, as his disposi- 
tion suggests." 

"You are much wiser, Frances, for 
this explanation," interjoined Marian, 
with a saucy sneer ; " but, whatever this 
lady may say, you will find that ' every- 
body' will stand its ground/' 

44 1 am sure you are right, ma'am/ 7 
said JNIiss Colviiie; " for the expression 
is convenient as an ally, and formidable 
as a subterfuge." 

" How warmly you espouse the cause 
of Lady Jane," exclaimed Marian, smi- 
ling. She ought to be much obliged to 
3 



168 

you. To be sure, I might have expected 
you would he angry at my finding fault 
withyour favourite pupil ; but I never can 
think before I speak ; it requires more 
tameness than I possess/' 

Miss Colville made no reply ; but an 
expressive glance at the speaker, seemed 
to imply that she did not give implicit 
credit to her statement. 

Marian felt this ; and was meditating 
how to extricate herself from a predica- 
ment she had not anticipated, when the 
entrance of a man-servant checked her 
eloquence. 

u Lady Jane Milner is at the door, 
ma'am," said the man, addressing Miss 
Colville; "and, if you are not particu- 
larly engaged, would be glad to speak 
with you." 

Miss Colville bade Frances dismiss 
the dinner according to custom; and, 
slightly curtsying to Marian, followed the 
servant to the carriage. There we will 
leave her, and attend to the occupants 
of the eating- room. 



1 69 

If ever Frances Austen felt satisfied 
with herself, it was at this moment : her 
feelings were new, but delightful; she 
had no thought she wished to hide ; and, 
with that openness so natural and pleas- 
ing in the young, she approached the 
window, desirous of catching a glance of 
recognition from Lady Jane. 

Not so Marian : her mind was agi- 
tated ; all was tumult in her bosom ; and, 
(such is the meanness of the merely 
proud, ) she half- regret ted having suffer- 
ed Miss Colville to depart, without re- 
questing her silence respecting the free- 
dom of her opinions connected with Lady 
Jane. It was now too late ; and for a 
few minutes she seemed absorbed in her 
own reflections ; till, hearing tbe window 
thrown up, she turned, and saw Frances 
kissing her hand with all thte cordiality 
of a familiar acquaintance. 

" Do pray put down the sash," said 
Marian petulantly; " you think only of 
yourself ; it is a cold wind : do you hear 
me, Frances?'' 



iro 

"I do," replied Frances; "but, in- 
deed, I cannot put it down just now; 
Lady Jane is looking this way ; when 
she turns, I will. But you had better 
go nearer to the fire." 

" Come here, Frances, " coaxingly 
said Marian ; " I want to speak to you ; 
I have something very particular to say." 
Frances felt at liberty to accede; forhef 
ladyship had iiui mated by the motion of 
her hand, that she had better avoid the 
keen air. 

"Well, Marian, what have you to 
say?" inquired Frances. "Why," re- 
turned Marian, "do you think Miss 
Colville is the sort of person who would 
repeat what I have been saying of Lady 
Jane ? You know one says a thousand 
things without thinking ; at least I do, 
because I am naturally giddy ; yet, of 
course, one would not Ike such tritles to 
be told to the party." 

"Miss Colville is too kind to do any 
thing ill-natured, " replied Frances ; "but 
indeed I must say, Marian, you behaved 



171 

very rudely to her. However, I am sure 
she pities you ; nay, I saw she could 
hardly refrain from laughing at you more 
than once." 

"Indeed ! really !" returned Marian ; 
"I should not have thought of that; I 
admire the idea of such a person laugh- 
ing at her su ." She paused ; for 
Frances, anticipating her words, wfah a 
good-humoured laugh begged her to de- 
sist. ''Now, my dear Marian, do not 
talk nonsense," said Frances; "I was 
very sorry for you ; but indeed you 
looked foolish when Miss Colville asked 
you to explain yourself. Yet she did it 
politely; but I know so well how uncom- 
fortable one feels when a sensible person 
presses for an explanation, that I was 
quite vexed you had brought it upon 
yourself." 

"Why I never heard such nonsense 
as you talk, Frances !" returned Marian 
warmly. " Do you suppose I am to be 
awed by your governess ? You shall see 
I am not afraid of her or any body. 



172 

Mamma said you were in a way to be 
spoiled ; and I am sure she is quite 
right." 

The entrance of M iss Colville abridged 
the acrimony of the young reviler; who, 
with an address lamentable in one of her 
age, assumed an air of indifference, 
and began to lament the non-arrival of 
the carriage. Frances proposed adjourn- 
ing to the drawing-room ; and, as she 
followed her visitor, she, in a fearless 
voice, *' hoped Lady Jane was well?" 

" I never saw her look better, or in 
better spirits," replied Miss Colville. 
4 ' She offers her congratulations to you on 
the important change in your hair ; and 
begged me to say she saw the tortoise* 
shell comb; and, judging by herself, 
could imagine your happiness on this 
great event. " 

As they reached the drawing-room, 
Mrs. Wilton, followed by Caroline, 
^crossed the stair-head. 

" Indeed, mamma, I should be quite 
satisfied by Marian's choice ; I am not 



173 

particular about the colour," said Caro- 
line. Mrs. Wilton did not seem disposed 
to yield: on perceiving the dinner-party, 
however, she advanced. " My dear Ma- 
rian," she exclaimed, "I hope you have 
made a good luncheon. Ah ! sweet 
love!" and she kissed Frances. "I 
hope you are well, ma'am;" and she 
curtsied distantly to Miss Colville. The 
latter was so much surprised by the al- 
teration in the looks of Miss Wilton, 
that for a moment she could only con- 
fine her observation to one object. Mrs. 
W T ilton took the direction of her eye ; 
then, suddenly addressing Miss Colville, 
she asked permission to speak with her 
in her own room. Miss Colville led the 
way: "I entreat you, madam," said 
Mrs. W T ilton, "to tell me candidly what 
you saw in my daughter that made you 
regard her with so much earnestness?" 

Miss Colville hesitated : the alarm of 
the mother was evident in her counte- 
nance ; yet she felt, that insincerity might 
prove injuroius to all parties. Thus 
P3 ," 



174 

occupied, though unwilling to give pain, 
she inquired " if Miss Wilton was not out 
of health? I perceive a delicacy in her 
complexion, ma'am/' said she, " and an. 
expression of languor in her features, 
which certainly did not belong to the 
young lady when I saw her at Mount 
Wilton." 

"Mr. Austen has nearly destroyed 
me by his observations this morning," said 
the agitated parent; -'but, if you see 
it too, there must be something in it! 
Did you ever witness the earlier symp- 
toms of decline ? but yet don't tell me, 
if you have ; 1 believe I shall lose my 
senses. Still, if the dear child was ill, 
she would complain. Some people give 
way to fancies; I never was one of those 
persons; the little tour I propose will 
divert her spirits. The only change I 
perceive in her, is an unwillingness to 
take her usual exercise." 

Mrs. Wilton, though she appeared to 
discredit the fears of others, was really 
anxious to hear something that should 



175 

disperse those that were actually taking 
root in her own mind. This sort of self-de- 
lusion is confined to no particular dispo- 
sition ; and is as often found in the well- 
constructed mind as in the frivolous^ 
and, while under an influence so distress- 
ing, the heart must be callous that does 
not sympathize with the sufferer. 

"I am glad to hear you say your spi- 
rits are not easily depressed, ma'am," 
said Miss Colville; " I do not offer ad- 
vice ; but, as Miss Wilton is less disposed 
to exertion than formerly, it would be 
satisfactory to consult some man of emi- 
nence, before you take a tour that must 
be attended with some fatigue." 

"Well, that might be as well ; it can 
do no harm," said Mrs. Wilton; ( ' per- 
haps you would assist me in contriving 
some little plan for introducing a phy- 
sician without her knowing his profes- 
sion. " Miss Colville thought such a stra- 
tagem unnecessary; and she said so. Mrs. 
Wilton persisted in declaring it was in- 
dispensable \yithCaro.line; for, "two yeari 



176 

since, she had been ordered to wear flan- 
nel ; and the poor child was made quite 
nervous and irritable before they could 
bring her to conform to the advice of the 
doctor consulted." It was at length 
agreed that Mr. Austen should under- 
take the arrangement ; and the ladies 
parted. 

Miss Colville was soon summoned to 
the drawing-room. Mrs. Wilton had 
gone out alone ; and Mr. Austen re- 
quested her presence, not choosing to 
leave the young people alone. 

Marian and Frances were at one of 
the windows, when Miss Colville en- 
tered ; Miss Wilton sat with the book in 
her hand, but it was closed. Mr. Dou- 
glas was drawing at a library table. The 
latter, with Frances, offered her a chair. 
Miss Wilton bowed politely; but the 
bow was half suspended by a reproving 
shake of the head, which the ill-concealed 
gestures of her sister appeared to have 
called forth. Miss Colville took out her 
work, and pursued it in silence. Frances, 



see Vcl .1 '. /**</ 277. 




Douglas instantly presented it: it -was a Copy <>t' 

one of tVestaDls IftaBtration8 of Poenus, done in 

an. exceHent stvle . 



177 

now as much alive to any thing she con- 
sidered rude as she had before been in- 
different, approached her governess. 

" You do not look comfortable here," 
said she; "I must settle you in your 
right place:" and, taking a small work- 
table, she moved it nearer to Caroline, 
and begged Miss Colville would " oblige 
her by removing to it." 

"Willingly, my love," said Miss Col- 
ville ; " you know I do not exact atten- 
tions ; but I am very amenable to civi- 
lities," 

" Will you excuse my going on with 
this drawing?" said Douglas: e< I want 
to forward it to my sister." 

"I beg you will pursue your study, 
sir," replied Miss Colville; " perhaps 
you will favour me with a si^ht of your 
sketch, before you inclose it.' 1 

Douglas instantly presented it ; it was 
a copy of one of Westall's Illustrations 

of r- Poems, done in an excellent 

style. prances was all admiration. 
Wilton asked to look at it; and 



178 

Marian glanced over it : each gave their 
opinions with freedom. 

" Drawing must be a great delight to 
you," said Miss Colville to Douglas; 
" there is some satisfaction in using a 
pencil to such effect. I think Mr. Aus- 
ten has some Views you would admire ; 
\ve will get them ready for your inspec- 
tion to-morrow." Douglas expressed 
himself grateful for the offered attention, 
and resumed his pursuit. 

" Come here, Frances !" said Marian ; 
"now look at this man; he is a trades- 
man ; I see it in his walk. See how he 
carries his arms, and how fearful he is of 
splashing his boots. There, that man is 
a teacher of some kind or other ; I know 
it by his umbrella. See how he looks at 
his watch ; he must walk by time : what 
a bore that must be !" 

" Scratch the Tenth," said Douglas, 
laughing ; "that is the tenth liberal opi- 
nion you have vended since you took 
your stand at that window. I am taking 
notes for you." 



179 

Miss Colville was scarcely more sur- 
prised at the flippancy of Marian, than 
the freedom of Douglas's observation. 

' ' You know I always was a great 
chatterer," returned Marian; "you 
used to laugh at Roche and me, and say 
we were scandalizers." 

" Not quite so bad as that," said 
Douglas; "at least, whatever I might 
say of Roche, I certainly could not mean 
to infer that any lady could resemble 
him." 

"Roche is extremely clever," said 
Miss Wilton ; " I am sure I never heard 
a boy more generally admired : he has 
so much to say upon every subject." 

" I do not deny that," returned Dou- 
glas, smiling. 

"What illiberal creatures you boy 
are," said Marian; " we have the ad- 
vantage there at least; girls never de- 
preciate each other. I wish" > 

She paused ; for Miss Colville looked 
up ; and, as her eye passed from Marian 
to Frauces, the native blush which crim- 



180 

soned the cheek of Miss Austen, seemed 
to carry a silent reproof to the vain 
boaster. 

"O dear, I suppose you are con- 
demning my preaching, as inconsistent 
with my practice," said Marian, un- 
dauntedly; "but really, my poor Frances, 
if my stricture on Lady Jane is to be 
brought against me, I shall not be very 
miserable ; for I am not singular there, 
as I have before told you." 

"Marian," said Miss Wilton; "I 
thought mamma had spoken definitively 
upon that subject; but your spirits carry 
you away." Miss Wilton looked to- 
wards the party, as if offering an apo- 
logy for her sister. No one appearing 
to accept it, she then turned towards 
Miss Colville; and in an under-voice, 
added, "though my sister does not ap- 
pear to have it, I can assure you she has 
a great deal of sensibility." 

"Indeed!" said Miss Colville. Ca- 
roline felt mortified: her opinions had 
always been received with deference; 



181 

consequently the 'indeed!' of the go- 
verness, spoken as it was in a dissenting 
tone, was peculiarly offensive. It seemed 
to impugn her judgment where she did 
not think she could err. " Perhaps you 
think liveliness incompatible with sen- 
sibility?" she asked. " I know many 
people entertain such an idea ; but it is 
quite erroneous." 

"On the contrary," said Miss Col- 
ville, " I consider cheerfulness an es- 
sential attribute of real sensibility ; for I 
do not speak of this quality as a weak- 
ness but a virtue *, and, to form the cha- 
racter of pure sensibility, there must be 
the union of benevolence, gentleness, 
principle, and that necessary spur to all 
useful exertion an active mind ; this is 
seldom discoverable where cheerfulness 
does not preside." 

"When I speak of sensibility, I in- 
clude of course all this," said Caroline : 
yet she spoke doubtingly ; and as 
though she was not disposed to pursue 
the argument. 

VOL. i. Q, 



182 

"My feelings are wonderfully inter- 
ested for this poor man," giggled Ma- 
rian; "positively he has been disap- 
pointed in getting an order; here is my 
tradesman trudging home again ! " Dou- 
glas approached the window. "Is that 
the man you have tied to a trade?'' said 
he. "It is Colonel , a brave offi- 
cer, and a man of very high family.'' 

" You must be joking," said Marian ; 
" there, that man is a gentleman; you 
see it in his carriage." "That is my 
dancing-master!" exclaimed Frances, 
laughing. 

"You are conspiring against me," 
said Marian. " Now here is an old quiz 
of a woman. Oh dear, she's spying out 
the numbers ; I declare she is crossing 
over. Is she a friend of yours, Frances? 
I cannot say much for her elegance. 
Hark, a double knock! Well, I de- 
clare I should have expected to have 
seen her go down the area." 

Footsteps were heard ; the door open- 



183 

ed ; and a servant announced " Mrs. 
Cox to call upon the Miss Wiltons." 

Corotine started from her seat ; Ma- 
rian stood aghast. So complete was 
their surprise, that, had not Miss Colville 
offered a seat to the stranger, the young 
ladies would never have thought of such 
an attention. 

"So my cousin is out, I find," said 
Mrs. Cox. "Poor dear, I arn't seen 
her since your pa died. You don't re- 
member me, loves; but I should have 
known you any where. Yes, Miss Carry 
is the very moral of what my cousin was 
at her age. Well, dear, your mother 
did very well by her pretty face; I hope 
you wont do worse. Yet you look puny 
too. So I hear you are going to France. 
I'm sorry for that; but ma knows 
best, I suppose. She was a monstrous 
'cute girl. How long have you been in 
Lunnun?" 

"Only three days, ma'am," said Ca- 
roline. 

"And this is Marian!" continued 



184 

Mrs. Cox. "I declare you are taller 
than Carry. How could you be so un- 
dutiful as to outgrow your elders ?" And 
so saying, she drew the shrinking Ma- 
rian towards her: "when do you ex- 
pect," she went on, "ma back. I am 
afear'd I mus'nt stop for her ; for you 
see I have taken my place in the stage; 
so my time's not my own ; but, however, 
you must tell her what I say; will you r" 
Marian muttered something, but it was 
not intelligible. Mrs. Cox continued : 
"Well, tell ma that her cousin Cox 
called to see her ; that I heard of her 
being in town by the merest chance in 
the world. I went to my dress-maker's ; 
and there I saw a bonnet that I liked. 
So I told her to make me one like it; so 
then she said, it was odd enough I 
should take a fancy to that, for she had 
just sold it to a relation of mine." Ca- 
roline groaned audibly. " What's the 
matter, love?" Mrs. Cox exclaimed; "for 
certain you are not well ; I must persuade 
ma to let you come and stay at High- 



185 

gate, and breathe the fresh air. I'm a 
capital nurse though perhaps I ought 
not to say it. But I was telling you 
about the bonnet. Mrs. Parsloe is an 
old school-fellow of mine ; so she knew 
the moment ma gave her address that 
we were relations; so I thought I would 
just ask her how she did. Tell her I 
shan't be in town till next Friday, but I 
hope she will spend a day with me be- 
fore she sets off on her tower/' 

"I will deliver your message, ma'am, 
punctually," said Marian, with an ill- 
concealed sneer. 

Mrs. Cox rose. " I ought to ask par- 
don for the freedom I have used in call- 
ing here," said she; and she curtsied to 
Miss Colville ; " but I could not resist 
such a convenient opportunity of seeing 
my cousin." Miss Colville replied po- 
litely; and Mrs. Cox took leave. 

A silence of some minutes ensued : it 
was with pleasure Miss Colville saw 
Frances take out her work, and seat her- 
self quietly at her side. 
Q 3 



186 

"I wish I had followed that woman 
down stairs," said Marian; "I am con- 
vinced she is an impostor; nor should I 
\vonder to hear she had purloined some- 
thing in her way out." 

"I do not agree with you," said Ca- 
roline ; " she is what she represents her- 
self 7 have no doubt. I wonder we 
never heard of her. Do you think she 
is an impostor?" 

This latter sentence was addressed to 
Miss Colville, who, uncertain of its ap- 
plication, hesitated ; and Miss Wilton 
repeated her question. 

"I see no reason for discrediting the 
lady's assertion/ 3 replied Miss Colville; 
"her appearance bespeaks that degree 
of independence which makes imposition 
unnecessary." 

" We are vastly obliged to you, 
ma'am, for this very conclusive mode of 
settling our family connexions," returned 
Marian; "but I trust you will find 
yourself mistaken. I dare say the wo- 
man thought we should pay her stage- 



187 

hire, or give her a meal ; though, to do 
her justice, she does not look as if she 
was starved." 

"What are you laughing at, Dou- 
glas ?" she continued ; " come, confess, 
is it not my cousin Coxr" 

"It is not," said Douglas; "I was 
laughing at Mrs. Cox's cousin Miss 
Marian Wilton." 

"Really, you are too civil, sir," re- 
turned Marian; "I wish the woman had 
had more tact as Miss Edgeworth 
says; but such low creatures never 
think of any body but themselves. She 
might have written to mamma, and asked 
if she would receive her; that is, if she 
is the person she says but I doubt it 
altogether." 

Douglas smiled, but said nothing. 
Marian, like all angry persons, could 
not bear even the silence of the less in- 
terested party; she would have been more 
satisfied had some one argued with her; 
nay, she almost desired to hear Miss 
Colville's sentiments more at large. A 



188 

new and happy light broke in upon her 
at this moment ; if Mrs, Cox was re- 
ally connected with them, she must be 
similarly so with Frances. Charmed 
with this discovery, she asked Frances 
" how she relished the idea of her new- 
found cousin?" 

"That's true, Marian," said Frances; 
"I wonder the lady did not say some- 
thing of our connexion." 

"The lady!" echoed Marian ; " what 
a farce ; I wish mamma would come I 
long to hear what she will say." 

Marian did not wait long: Mrs. Wil- 
ton arrived, and was followed into the 
drawing-room by a servant with a mil- 
liner's box. 

"Oh! my bonnet, I snppose," said 
Mrs. Wilton ; " put it down ; no, take 
it to my maid." 

"I must see it," said Marian, taking 
the bonnet from the servant. She dis- 
missed him, saying "she would take 
charge of it." 

Marian now pretended to examine it 



189 

minutely; then said, "this may become 
you mamma, but really it is too juvenile 
for your cousin Cox : and she gave an 
arch glance at the company. I cannot 
reconcile myself to her coarse features 
under a costume like this." 

"Has Mrs. Cox found us out?" 
asked Mrs. Wilton, with calm indiffer- 
ence. "Well, we must be civil to her, 
girls ; she is immensely rich ; and, I 
believe, I am her nearest relation.'* 

Then she really is a connexion of 
yours?" asked Marian. "I was posi- 
tive she was a swindler ; but, dear me, it 
cannot be necessary for us to notice this 
person." 

"I beg your pardon^ Marian," re- 
turned her mother; "I shall call upon 
her before we leave town. Her appear- 
ance, I grant, is not very elegant; I 
know she is illiterate, but her heart is 
good; and, as I said before, she is rich; 
we should none of us object to a share 
of her property. These unreflecting 
girls attach so much consequence to e\~ 



190 

ternals," Mrs. Wilton continued, ad- 
dressing Miss Colville ; "but none but 
those acquainted with the world, would 
suppose I should be indifferent to a 
matter which involves the interests of 
my children." 

"But I should suppose this person 
considers Frances Austen her cousin as 
well as us?' J asked Caroline. 

'* No, my dear," replied her mother ; 
" Mrs. Cox is my mother's niece ; and I 
can only account for her ignorance and 
very vulgar manners, by imputing it to 
the marriage of her mother; who, when 
advanced in life, became the wife of a 
rich old citizen. Mrs. Austen was my 
father's connexion; our fathers were 
brothers. But do not be depressed, 
Caroline; a rich, vulgar connexion is 
infinitely preferable to being tormented 
by proud paupers whom one never can 
please." 

The Miss Wiltons did not appear 
to be convinced by the reasoning of 
their mother. Their consequence was 



191 

wounded where they were most amen- 
able; and not the least part of their 
vexation was that which exonerated 
Frances from a participation in their de- 
gradation. 

"These things are quite common, my 
loves," resumed Mrs. Wilton. " By the 
way, Douglas, your friend Roche, (who 
is certainly one of the cleverest young 
men I ever saw, ) amused me excessively 
one evening, by trying to persuade a 
very eccentric old man that he did not 
spell his name right. Yes, he almost 
prevailed upon the credulous man to be- 
lieve that his name was Roche, and that 
they must be connected. I whispered 
to him that Mr. Rochet had been in 
trade; though his riches procured him his 
present place in society. This only in- 
creased his desire to please Mr. Rochet; 
and I really believe your friend would 
have made a sensible impression upon 
the old man, if Roche had not touched 
upon his descent from the monarchs of 
Ireland, Poor Rochet had an antipathy 



19* 

to the Irish ; and he became intractable 
from that moment." 

" Roche is just the fellow to venture 
in such a hoax," said Douglas. "His 
effrontery is extraordinary ; but, having 
no wish to be included in his frolics, I 
cut with him some time since." 

"He has so much spirit." said Caro- 
line; "I wonder any young person 
should dislike him ; indeed, I heard he 
was a favourite with every body.' 

"He was not much liked at ," 

returned Douglas ; "his spirit was not to 
our taste." 

"You surprise me," said Mrs. Wil- 
ton ; " there is something so attractive 
in vivacity, especially in the young. I 
cannot understand how such a disposi- 
tion could fail to please those of his own 
age." 

"He is by no means cheerful," re- 
turned Douglas. " Roche was the only 
fellow at ^^ whose fits of gloom used 
to annoy us ; he never was lively, but 



19$ 

when he had some joke in hand, or some 
practical hoax to play off." 

The entrance of Mr. Austen caused 
Douglas to pause. " Who is this hoax- 
er?" said he; "I hope you are not a 
patron of this sort of wit, Douglas ; for 
it cannot be effective but at the ex- 
pense of some one's feelings ; and cer- 
tainly always to the degradation of those 
who profess the practice." 

"My dear Mr. Austen," said Mrs. 
Wilton; "what can you expect from 
boys ? For my part, I love their little 
tricks; nay, I am persuaded that most 
of our great men were ' Pickles' in their 
youth." 

"Great men/' said Mr. Austen, 
laughing; " ah ! there's the rub. What 
do you mean by great men? I know 
the ladies are fond of superlatives ; so I 
say that he is the greatest man who 
unites goodness to intellectual superio- 
rity. Now such a man cannot delight 
in wounding the feelings of others, sim- 
ply because he would not do that which 



is unjust. Mis own sensibility will al- 
ways dictate what is correct; for he 
knows exactly what he himself could 
bear." 

"Sensibility!" reiterated Mrs. Wil- 
ton; " who desires to see too much of 
this in your sex? Indeed, 1 cannot 
bear to hear the word applied to a man." 

" Indeed," said Mr. Austen, smiling; 
"that is because you do not take the 
word in its true acceptation. Believe 
me, my dear madam, sensibHity is not a 
feminine attribute, but a quality designed 
for all reflecting creatures. Marian 
smiles but yet so it is. Come, be in- 
genuous," added Mr. Austen, taking the 
hand of the incredulous Marian : "you 
understand sensibility to be a tearful 
young lady weeping over fictitious sor- 
row, tenderly alive to every thing con- 
nected with self; sensitive upon all oc- 
casions in which timidity is becoming. 
In short, you know her in her holiday 
garb ; which, after all, is a borrowed 
one. I do not deny that under the 



195 

disguise she does not sometimes pass 
current with slight observers ; but these 
are not the real characteristics of poor 
insulted sensibility." 

The eyes of Frances had more than 
once glanced towards Miss Colville, as 
Mr. Austen thus expressed himself. 
Caroline Wilton looked disconcerted; 
the sentiments of Mr. Austen seemed 
too like those she had recently attempted 
to combat ; and she rather dreaded any 
farther development of his opinions. 

"So much for the unreal, the osten- 
tatious semblances of a quality which we 
are all prone to think we possess;" con- 
tinued Mr. Austen. "Marian is weary 
of my prositig; but I owe it to you, 
Frances, to say something more :" and he 
threw his arm round his daughter. "A 
case in point presents itself. A young 
lady was this morning making purchases 
at a superior kind of grocer's, where cer- 
tain luxurious sweets are to be had. 
She was buying articles for her father's 
table, and might be supposed to be too 
R 2 



196 

much engaged to hear what other cus- 
tomers were requiring. This however 
was not the case. A meanly-dressed fe- 
male asked if they had any genuine ar- 
row-root; the answer was in the affir- 
mative. The price was the next ques- 
tion : the answer seemed to give the in- 
quirer surprise ; but, after a little hesi- 
tation, she ordered an ounce to be put 
up. The young lady, who had been at- 
tending to what passed, leaned across the 
counter, and spoke to the shopman ; 
a rather large quantity was put up, and 
presented to the humble customer. She 
then, with an expression of meek asto- 
nishment, turned to thank the lady. 'You 
have some sick friend, I fear,' said the 
young philanthropist?' *I have a sister, 
ma'am, who has been confined to her 
bed nearly two years,' said the stranger. 
I saw the young lady undraw her 
purse, and afterwards heard repealed 
some broken expressions of thanks. Some- 
thing was said about a court in Oxford- 
etreet. The young lady retreated from 



197 

the gaze of those persons present; beg- 
ged her carriage might be called, and 
uas hastening away, when I stepped for- 
ward, and seizing her hand, led her to 
it proud of announcing myself as wor- 
thy of her acquaintance." 

"(.) ! it svas, I am sure it was, Lady 
Jane Milner ! r ' said Frances, grasping 
the hand of her father. 

4 'You are right," returned her fa- 
ther, fondly pressing her hand; "it 
icas Lady Jane ; and mark, my dear 
girl, the decisive character of genuine 
sensibility : it is totally abstracted from 
self; it has an eye to see, and an ear to 
hear, where the ostentatious and insen- 
sible are both blind and deaf. It 
shews itself in all situations; and, as 
you know how naturally animated and 
lively this charming young creature is, 
you will understand that the offices of 
pure sensibility are suited to the young 
and happy; and though, in the exer- 
cise of this gracious quality, the feel- 
ings are occasionally depressed, be- 
R 3 



193 

licve me, they ultimately confer a self- 
satisfaction, a peace of mind, which 
the world cannot give." 

Frances whispered a few words to 
her father. 

"You say truly," returned Mr. 
Austen; ' 'Miss Col ville must feel proud 
of her work ; there cannot be a more 
enviable distinction than that of feel- 
ing that she has helped to form a cha- 
racter so inestimable. " I do not deny 
the satisfaction your little relation ha* 
afforded me, sir," said Miss Col ville; 
"for, though convinced that where 
Lady Jane is best known she will be 
most esteemed, I am not always so 
happy as to hear her supported with 
the liberality she deserves. " 

"I begin to think there must be 
more in the character of this young 
person than I have yet made out/' 
said Mrs. Wilton ; "though I am sure 
I have tried to understand her ; per- 
haps I shall be enlightened on this 
subject at some future period." There 



199 

was a sarcastic expression in the fea- 
tures of Mrs. Wilton, which did not 
promise any very favourable result 
from her subsequent observations. 

" My friend General Monkfield, who 
lives opposite, would not be flattered, 
were you to decide on the costume of 
his drawing-room as it is seen through 
the fog now floating between us," said 
Mr. Austen, laughing, and at the same 
time directing the attention of Marian 
and Frances to the state of the atmos- 
phere. "Nor must we hope to draw 
a just analysis of the human character, 
while our vision is deformed by those 
impenetrable fogs raised by preju- 
dice." 

"Poor defenceless woman!" said 
Mrs. Wilton, shrugging her shoulders; 
" we are always represented as the 
slaves of prejudice. We could retort ; 
but I spare you. Come loves," turn- 
ing to her daughters ; * ' we must dress ; 
it is getting late." 

44 The Miss Wiltons followed their 
3 



200 

mother, glad to escape from a group in 
which their talents were so lightly esti- 
mated. Mr. Austen now inquired how 
long Douglas had known the Wilton 
family. 

" I met them first at General "s: 

I danced with Miss Wilton. The Gene- 
ral was very kind to the fellows ; 

and, as it was at the time of a vacation, 
he invited four of us, who had not friends 
in London, to take up our ahode at the 
Lodge. Roche was of the number ; and 
he made himself so agreeable by his tricks, 
that the rest of us were for some days 
quite in the back ground. However, we 
all enjoyed ourselves excessively." Miss 
Colville smiled, and said, " I believe 
Mr. Roche has not since visited at 
Carrow Lodge?*' 

" He has not/ 1 replied Douglas ; 
"do you know the General ?" 

" Perfectly, sir," answered Miss Col- 
ville ; " I have the honour to be distantly 
connected with the General. But, though 
your liberality induces you to be silent 
3 



201 

respecting Mr. Roche, lam not disposed 
to shield this very delightful and amusing 
young gentleman from the censure he 
merits. You have done justice to the 
hospitality of Carrow Lodge ; and I 
may venture to addrthat few persons of 
good taste and feeling but would agree 
that the General is an amiable and ac- 
complished man?" 

Douglas answered in the affirmative ; 
and continuing, said, "Well, having 
given a ball for the amusement of his 
young visitors, he arranged to have a 
little music the next evening. The Ge- 
neral plays upon the violoncello; a few 
neighbours were added to the party ; and 
the concert, if not numerous, promised 
to be excellent. It appears Mr. Roche 
disliked the idea of a musical evening; 
he had, in my hearing, voted it 'a great 
bore.* The party most interested in 
the meeting were however sttangers to 
the distaste of Mr. Roche, and adjourn- 
ed to the music- room. A disappoint- 
ment v, holly unexpected awaited them. 



202 

The violoncello of the General wanted a 
principal string ; and the case in which he 
usually kept a supply of these articles 
was missing. A strict search was made, 
but unsuccessfully. I confess, that the 
overacted zeal of Mr. Roche raised some 
suspicion in my mind, yet 1 did not ha- 
zard an opinion. After some delay, a 
new selection was made ; and the Gene- 
ral, always happy when he can make 
others so, contented himself as an audi- 
tor. I was rather pleased when the ama- 
teurs in this later arrangement disco- 
vered so many beauties in the music as 
greatly lengthened the duration of the 
concert. It seemed a just mortification 
for him who had selfishly designed a 
very different result. * 1 am completely 
bit,' said Mr. Roche, in a half-whisper 
to one of his school-friends. His obser- 
vation was no less conclusive of my sur- 
mise than offensive to him to whom it 
was addressed. * I hope you will be able 
to fight your own battle,' returned the 
other ; ' for I warn you that I for one 






203 

will leave you to your fate. ' Mr. Roche 
laughed immoderately ; and declared he 
should like nothing better than a court- 
martial at which the General should pre- 
side. In short, he was as eloquent as 
people of his disposition usually are 
when courage is talked of in perspec- 
tive." 

Douglas smiled. "You understand 
him perfectly, 1 perceive, ma'am," 
said he. 

"Why it does not require much dis- 
cernment to make out a character like 
Mr. Roche's, " returned Miss Colville ; 
"it is too prominent not to force itself 
into notice. The General, on the next 
morning, as you may remember, pre- 
served the same urbanity of manner to- 
wards his young visitors. I knew he at- 
tributed the mischief of the preceding 
evening to the right party ; but he stood 
in a relation which called for the exer- 
cise of feelings it would be most difficult 
for him to forego. As the entertainer 
of a juvenile group, he was in a manner 



204 

pledged to mix in their enjoyments, or 
at least contribute to them. I must 
think there are few beings who could 
have withstood a kindness so unmerited. 

"I really looked forward with a hope 
that a lesson so benignly given would 
have its weight with Mr. Roche ; and 
lead him voluntarily to apologise for his 
insolence. I was mistaken : he certainly 
comprehended the bearings of the Ge- 
neral's politeness, but he had no faith in 
its continuance ; and in a day or two 
withdrew from the Lodge. About a 
fortnight afterwards, a friend of the Ge- 
neral called ; and, in the course of con- 
versation, inquired respecting the fa- 
mily and connexions of Mr. Roche. The 
General explained as far as he knew ; 
when the gentleman declared that 
though always pleased to countenance 
youth, and shew civility to such as he 
knew deserved it, he had yet been some- 
what annoyed, (as indeed had most of the 
gentlemen who met Mr. Roche at Car- 
row Lodge,) by that young gentleman's 



205 

attacking them with Obtrusively civil re- 
collections of their late meeting at the 
General's ; and his obtrusions had always 
ended in their being compelled to invite 
him to their tables. ' My good lady,' 
said Sir Edward Gpsport, ' is much 
pleased with the boy's address, and de- 
clares he will make a shining character/ 
* We all know that brass will take a cer- 
tain polish ; nevertheless, it is still but an 
inferior metal. No ; /can make allow- 
ance for the vivacious mirth of the un 
tried spirit ; but give me the ingenuous 
boy whose thoughts we can read. A 
bold forward youth is odious ; so, unless 
it would please you to shew him cour- 
tesy, / shall dispense with his future 
visits. ' The General begged Sir Edward 
would use his own pleasure upon this 
occasion ; adding, that he 'had no pre- 
sent intention of receiving Mr. Roche at 
the Lodge/ Yet he took the trouble of 
calling upon this young man with the be- 
nevolent wish of guarding him against a 
conduct that must prove disadvantageous 



206 

to himself and injurious to his family. 
What effect this intended kindness might 
have produced, is uncertain; for, upon 

the General's arrival at , he was 

unexpectedly ushered into the study of 
Mr. Roche. The first object that at- 
tracted his attention was a well-executed 
caricature of the concert-party, in which 
my relation was a principal and most lu- 
dicrous figure. 

It appears that Mr. Roche was over- 
come for a moment; and in the next 
strove to place himself before the obnoxi- 
ous sketch. The General took his glas5, 
and, putting the artist on one side, ex- 
amined it minutely; and then said, 
* You have some talent for this sort of 
thing ; its tendency, however, is dange- 
rous.' Roche was beginning an apo- 
logy. 'A few words, and I have done, 
sir;' resumed the General. 'A bov- 
caricaturist can only excite the contempt 
of those he presumes to satirize ; at 
least, such would be the opinion of most 
persons upon this occasion. However, 



207 

as one who knows the world, and has 
been accustomed to observe those rules 
of civil life which can alone enable man 
to live in fellowship with man, I warn 
you that this habit, if indulged, may lead 
to the commission of a crime of the 
deepest turpitude; an insult of this 
nature, at a more advanced age, would 
expose you to a challenge from your 
equal in society ; and, though it is not 
quite clear to me that the professed sa- 
tirist is really a courageous person, he 
of all men should avoid such a contest. 
For of this I am assured, that whoever 
pursues a practice so void of liberality, 
must be deficient in those benevolent 
feelings, that just temper of mind, which 
can make a mere mortal regard the fu- 
ture with becoming humility.' 

"Thus ended," added Miss Colville, 
" General - ? s acquaintance with 

Mr. Roche. I have been too prolix, 
perhaps ; but it really grieved me to hear 
a boy eulogized for practices so truly 
presumptuous; and, indeed, knowing 
s 2 



208 

how much young persons are caught, if 
not fascinated, by description of ' Pic- 
kles, 1 I was desirous of convincing my 
pupil that such characters are not ex- 
actly as inoffensive and undesigning as 
they are represented." 

Mr. Austen avowed his disgust for a 
character so void of principle. "I can 
conceive," said he, k< nothing more un- 
arniable than an effrontery of this kind 
in a boy, Roche wants the sensibility 
of a man, and ignorantly mistakes impu- 
dence for courage. We are obliged to 
Miss Colville for this clear view of a 
very common but often flattered por- 
trait. Vivacity, thoughtlessness, and 
good-humour, to a casual observer ap- 
pear to be a natural connexion; no- 
thing can be more problematical. Uni- 
form vivacity can only belong to the na- 
turally cheerful. Thoughtlessness may 
deform a well-meaning but unsteady 
character; while good-humour, though 
an attribute that must pertain to the 
persons we esteem, is frequently the so- 



209 

litary recommendation of a character 
that may claim our notice, but can never 
engage our respect. Good-humour, 
however, is always valuable ; so do not 
mistake me, Frances. I repeat, it is 
indispensable as a part, but is not of 
itself sufficient to raise us in the opinion 
of persons who know the capacities of 
the human mind, and what should con- 
stitute the character of creatures so 
highly gifted. Douglas has said that 
Roche was subject to fits of gloom that 
annoyed his companions ; his vivacity is 
therefore remote from that genuine hi- 
larity elicited by the really cheerful heart. 
Indeed, I have often heard the charm- 
ing spirits of such a person admired, 
when their conduct to me appeared 
nearly allied to insanity. Again, those 
dear thoughtless beings who speak with- 
out thinking, are to be judged leniently! 
Why so? If they have no regard for 
their own reputation, they are yet to be 
told that a want of deference for those 
with whom we converse, is a strong 
s 3 



210 

mark of a mean mind. It is true, the 
impertinent babbler cannot bring hi-j 
hearers down to the level of his unre- 
strained eloquence; but, in presuming to 
think that coarse bluntness can be mis- 
taken for openness of character, he in- 
sults the understanding of his auditors, 
and betrays that love of self, which is 
the sure accompaniment of an ill-regu- 
lated and shallow capacity." 

With the liveliest respect for the fa- 
ther of her pupil, Miss Colville had of- 
ten regretted that Frances was so much 
in the habit of hearing the sentiments 
and opinions of grown persons. She 
thought it injurious in many points; and 
more especially as tending to form a 
factitious character. " Intelligent girls," 
she would say, "are quick in perceiving 
what is approved. They adopt expres- 
sions and imbibe opinions, as it were 
mechanically; and, what is worse, they 
frequently act upon them without being 
conscious of their error. Thinking 
thus, her situation was one of great de- 



licacy. Frances had not, indeed, inlier 
presence displayed this imitative talent; 
yet Mr. Austen had more than once, in 
confidence, declared his high approba- 
tion of the clearness and justness with 
which his daughter had expressed her- 
self. 

There is something apparently un- 
gracious in destroying an illusion so de- 
lightful to a fond parent ; nor must the 
person whom integrity thus actuates al- 
ways expect to make her motives satis- 
factorily evident Even Mr. Austen, 
who had learned to value his child more 
appropriately than at any former period 
of his life, felt sensible disappointment 
at the manner of Miss Colville, on a sub 
ject which, he had persuaded himself, 
must greatly interest her. 

ik l am not unjust, sir," said the go- 
verness, smiling; "I trust, and really 
believe, your daughter will make an ami- 
able and intelligent woman. The com- 
mendations you are now bestowing upon 
her, strictly speaking, are not her due. 



She has used a little of that ostentation 
which is often displayed in the world ; 
but which, to me, is far from allowable. 
I mean that of adopting such oral, or 
written maxims, as she has heard ad- 
mired, or been directed to observe. I 
will this evening place the matter be- 
yond a doubt, by sending you the Ex- 
ercise Book of Miss Austen ; you will 
find the observations you have so par- 
ticularly noticed." 

Miss Colville did so : she made 
Frances the bearer of the book not 
from any desire of humbling her charge, 
whom she believed to have acted without 
considering the deception she was prac- 
tising; but in the expectation that Mr. 
Austen would seize a moment so oppor- 
tune, for explaining the danger and hu- 
miliations to which such a habit must 
lead into. 

She was disappointed; the highest 
encomiums \\ere passed upon the hand- 
writing of Frances. The good taste of 
Miss Colville, in the general arrangement 



213 

of the selections, met similar praise ; but 
not one word of reproof to the young 
lady who, like a parrot, had repeated 
what she had learned. What could the 
governess do ? simply this. She changed 
her plan.; and, in place of giving her pu- 
pil selections, which she had hoped to 
make subservient to the formation of an 
intellectual enjoyment at some future 
.period, she now confined her to gram- 
matical and historical subjects. It so 
happened, that this book had not been 
seen by Mr. Austen since the evening 
to which we have referred. Frances, 
now perfectly tractable and obedient, 
.after a few regrets, pursued the new 
adoption of her governess ; but, as no 
.explanation had been required by the 
$>upil, Miss Colvilte rather imagined that 
Frances felt the reproof She therefore 
-delayed all discussion of this subject, 
trusting that some suitable opportunity 
would occur, when it might with pro - 
priety be introduced. 



214 

While the mornings of Mrs. Wilton 
\vere occupied in purchasing articles for 
which she could have no possible occa- 
sion when she had crossed the straits of 
Dover, Caroline, whose reluctance to 
the projected trip was hourly increasing, 
suddenly entered the apartment of Miss 
Colville one morning, and requested 
Frances to allow her a few minutes' con- 
versation with her governess, at the same 
time flinging herself into a chair. Miss 
Colville was alarmed ; there was an agi- 
tation in the manner of Caroline Wilton, 
and a languor in her whole appearance, 
which called forth the liveliest sympathy. 

" Let me give you a glass of water," 
said Miss Colville, rising; 4< you have 
hurried yourself. Pray sit quiet for a 
few minutes ; it is a great way from the 
breakfast-room to this floor." 

" You are very good," returned Ca- 
roline ; " but that is not the cause of my 
agitation. I have a favour to ask of you, 
ma'am !" and she blushed. " You look 
surprised ; it is however true. O, will 



215 

you persuade my mother to leave me 
here? I mean in this house/' She 
paused. "I am sure Mr. Austen would 
agree to it, if he knew how much I de- 
sired to be with Frances, -to be with 
you I mean :" and she burst into tears. 

Miss Colville was affected by the ear- 
nestness of this appeal, and the too-evi- 
dent debility of the speaker. ' ' You, my 
clear Miss Wilton," said she, "are 
aware that my situation in this family 
gives me no right to say who shall or shall 
not become an inmate. I can have 
no objection to suggest to Mr. Austen 
your wish of remaining in Harley-street ; 
but / have no idea that any thing I could 
say to Mrs. Wilton would meet with 
concurrence." 

"You think not," said Caroline; 
"you are justified in believing this, and 
more; but / know better. It was only 
last night my mother regretted she had 
not engaged you for us when you quitted 
Lady Jane. Will you make the experi- 
ment? 1 am not equal to the proposed 



21G 

Journey; indeed I dread the thoughts of 
going. Yet I should grieve if Marian- 
was to be disappointed ; and I know my 
mother anticipates great pleasure from? 
her French visit. 5y 

Though greatly at a loss to account 
for this change in Miss Wilton, it was 
not possible to* decline an interference 
thus solicited. Miss Colville assented ; 
und, after many apologies for the liberty 
the had taken, Caroline withdrew. 

In this short conference, however, 
Miss Colville had with real concern 
observed the flushed cheek and quick 
respiration of the young petitioner. She 
tilcntly wondered that symptoms so ob- 
vious and alarming should so lightly im- 
press those connected with her. In the 
interview she had piomised to demand, 
she was determined to speak explicitly on 
the state of Miss Wilton's health. 



END OF VOL. I. 



OSTENTATION AND LIBERALITY. 

A TALE. 



Miss CoLVlLLEwas unfortunate: Mrs. 
Wilton received the proposal with mark- 
ed coldness; was excessively displeased 
that her daughter should have appointed 
a comparative stranger to interfere in 
her arrangements ; and concluded by de- 
claring the girl was the most altered 
creature in the world, or she never could 
have exposed her to such a solicitation. 

Wounded as Miss Colville was by the 
language and hauteur of Mrs. Wilton, 
she did not suffer herself to be influ- 
enced by them to forget what she consi- 
dered her duty. "I agree with you, 
ma'am," 1 said she ; " Miss Wilton's spi- 
rits, and I might add her dispositions, 
must have undergone a very considera- 
ble change before /could be called upon 
B 2 



to address you in her name. It is this 
very change that induces me to speak 
unreservedly. So far as /am concerned, 
it cannot be believed I am anxious for 
Miss Wilton's remaining in Mr. -Austen's 
family ; but 1 am fully persuaded such 
a request could never have come from 
your daughter, had she enjoyed the health 
and expectations usual at her age. She 
is ill very ill. If you, ma'am, are not 
prepared to hear this, you may condemn 
my sincerity, but I tand acquitted to 
myself." 

Leaving Mrs. Wilton, the governess 
completed her embassy by repairing to 
Mr. Austen. She imparted all that had 
passed between his visitors and herself. 

Mr. Austen, with the anxiety of a 
parent, entered into the views of Caro- 
line ; and, though really alarmed for the 
health of his young relation, he gladly 
took comfort in that dawning of humi- 
lity, which had led her to confide in one 
she had so recently appeared to over- 
look. 

(t 1 see a great deal of promise in 



this," said he ; " poor Caroline ! I wish 
we had you to ourselves for a few 
months." He looked at Miss Colville 
with some curiosity. 

"I almost wish such a thing could be, 
sir," said Miss Colville; "unfortu- 
nately, Miss Wilton made her appeal 
Jhrough an unaccredited channel. I 
cannot regret having complied with her 
request, though I may deplore the mis- 
taken feelings of the party to whom I 
addressed myself/' 

"Mistaken feelings!" echoed Mr. 
Austen. Unhappy woman ! she is, she 
has long be.en at war with herself. Alas ! 
madam, no woman feels more acutely 
than Mrs. Wilton all the inutilitv of 
her plans as a mother. Like all those 
persons who mistake ostentation for LI 
berat'ity^ she blindly imagined that hav- 
ing denied her daughters none of the 
advantages thai money could procure, 
she had clone ail that was necessary. 
Her error now stands confest ! But 
poor Caroline ! I must talk with Mrs. 
Wilton." Mr. Austen proceeded to the 



library, purposing to depute Marian as 
1 is messenger to her mother. Here, 
however, he found Mrs. Wilton in a 
state of mind nearly allied to madness. 
Two or three notes, addressed to physi- 
cians of eminence, only wanted sealing. 
With eyes swoln, and a manner that 
sufficiently betrayed her anguish, she be- 
sought Mr. Austen not to confirm the 
cruel doubts of that horrible Miss Col- 
ville. " I never can forgive that woman," 
she added ; "I am convinced she has 
alarmed the dear child, or she would not 
have frightened me as she did a few mi- 
nutes since." 

"Of whom are you speaking? who 
has alarmed you unnecessarily?" in- 
quired Mr. Austen. 

"Then you have not heard," said 
Mrs. Wilton, "that Caroline in one 
of her low fits, begged this Miss Col- 
ville to hint to me her dislike to our 
intended excursion ? Not content with 
doing as she was required, this offi- 
cious lady must suggest to me the very 
great weakness and debility of my daugh- 
ter. You know my susceptibility : no 



sooner had this harbinger of ill retired, 
than I hastened to Caroline, and im- 
plored her to describe all she felt. I am 
afraid my feelings led me too far; the 
dear child caught the infection ; and for 
the first time declared herself unequal 
to the proposed journey : but, with her 
usual liberality, would not hear of Ma- 
rian's being disappointed. Of course I 
. have not made up my mind upon this 
point; but I have written to Dr P. Dr. 
K. and Dr. W. 1 will not lose a mo- 
ment ; so I shall have nothing to reproach 
myself for ?" 

" If you except the alarm you may 
give Caroline, by allowing her to see 
your fears in the precautions you are 
adopting," observed Mr. Austen. 

"I am the most unfortunate woman 
in existence," said Mrs. Wilton ; "what 
am I to do ? will you direct me?" 

" I will assist you with my whole 
heart," replied Mr. Austen; "for, be- 
lieve me, I am deeply interested in the 
health of your child, which I regret to 
perceive is so delicate. These notes," 



taking up Mrs. Wilton's scarcely legible 
performances, " these I will commit to 
the flames ; we must neither depress nor 
agitate the dear girl. Yet we will treat 
her as a rational creature. I will invite 
one of the gentlemen you have selected 
to take dinner with us ; we will introduce 
the subject carefully ; and Caroline must 
be allowed to decline accompanying 
you, (if you are still resolved on a fo- 
reign trip,) should my friend W. sanc- 
tion her so doing." 

Mrs. Wilton appeared to assent. The 
plan was too reasonable to be opposed 
in its present stage ; yet, from her per- 
sonal knowledge of the latitude she had 
ever allowed where the nerves could be 
made accountable for whims, bad spirits, 
c. she entertained strong hopes that 
the event might prove favourable to her 
wishes. 

Here, however, she was a most un- 
fortunate mother ; for Dr. W not 

only saw a necessity for considering Ca- 
roline an invalid, but his principles led 
him to acid that she required the utmost 



care and attention ; and, while he re- 
commended such relaxations as would 
amuse her, he interdicted all strong ex- 
citements or personal fatigue. 

3V Irs. Wilton talked of the south of 
France, of Pisa, Naples. Dr. W. 
wished she was there ; but he thought 
the season of the year very unfavour- 
able for the commencement of such a 
route. It was argued that more than 
one of her friends had quitted England 
in November, by order of their physici- 
ans. The Doctor smiled : he was accus- 
tomed to the reasoning of ladies ; and 
therefore quite a stoic under such po- 
lite assaults; but he reprovingly asked, 
"You have known some who quitted 
this for a warmer clime, madam? Did 
you hear cf their arrival ?" 

Mrs. Wilton started ; the very reverse 
was the case. One had died at Geneva, 
another reached his destination ; but 
it was to die in the arms of strangers. 

"'All men think all men mortal but 
themselves,'" the Doctor continued, as 
Mrs. Wilton retired. f( I much ques- 



10 



tion the recovery of this poor girl, urtder 
any circumstances ; but it is certain she 
has no chance if they hurry or agitate 
her. You must use the privilege of a 
relation, my dear Austen ; and tell this 
too susceptible mother all the risk to 
which she will expose her daughter, if 
she persist in her travelling scheme. 
Above all, persuade her to consult some 
one else; it will be more satisfactory to 
me, and may lead her to conform to 
what is right." 

Mrs. Wilton consulted another phy- 
sician ; the result was similar: with this 
difference he recommended her to 
proceed immediately to Devonshire, 
there to remain during the winter: he 
would then talk of future plans. 

Marian heard this intelligence with 
vexation. So entirely was her mind fixed 
upon the Parisian visit, that she who 
had never appeared deficient in sisterly 
love, now accused Caroline of caprice, 
and her mother of weakness, in yielding 
to a parcel of quizzical beings, who 



11 



wished to make others as stupid as them- 
selves. 

Marian was decidedly her mother's 
favourite. To disappoint her, was griev- 
ous ; yet something was on this occa- 
sion due to the world. But while Mrs. 
Wilton hesitated what that something 
should be, a very dear friend crossed 
her path, on the wing for France. She 
had a son in a weak state of health, and 
being a woman of immense fortune, her 
suite not only embraced all that was es- 
sential to ostentation, but she carried 
in her train a medical man of great, if 
not extraordinary, skill. Lady Fanshaw 
pressed Mrs. Wilton to join her; they 
could travel together, and finally fix in 
the same neighbourhood. Lady Fan- 
shaw visited Caroline ; pronounced her 
complaint to be mere nervousness ; * 
that nothing was wanting but change of 
scene. Lady Fanshaw was so sanguine 
as to declare that Caroline would, be- 
fore a month elapsed, laugh at her pre- 
sent lownet>s, and be found amongst the 
most laborious of the quadrille dancers. 
9 



Mr. Austen listened to the new ar- 
rangement of his visitors with profound 
astonishment. It appeared impossible 
that a mother who had so lately been 
warned of the danger of her child, could 
thus yield her feelings to the judgment 

/ JO 

of a comparative stranger. 

Mrs. Wilton was now impatient to be 
gone. That she was quite satisfied with 
herself, is not probable ; but it is certain 
that delay would not increase her happi- 
ness, though it might appear to be essen- 
tial to her daughter's health. Caroline 
resisted the plan altogether; adducing 
not only the weakness of which she had 
complained, but a distaste to the ex- 
cursion. Mrs. Wilton expostulated ; 
laughed at the bad taste of the silly girl; 
and was proceeding to rally her in terms 
somewhat reproachful, when Mr. Aus- 
ten joined them. 

"The girl is incomprehensible!" ex- 
claimed Mrs. Wilton; "pray, what is it 
you desire, ma'am ? You must have 
some wise scheme of your own, or you 



would not presume to oppose mine 
thus." 

"I wish," said Caroline: she hesi- 
tated. "But I know," she continued, 
"you will be angry; yet indeed, my dear 
mamma, I do not feel equal to travelling 
just now ; and, if it is quite convenient 
to Mr. Austen, I should prefer remain- 
ing in his family while you are away. It 
would make me happy, that is as happy 
as I can he, separated from you." 

"Most gladly will I take charge of 
you, my dear Caroline," said Mr. Aus- 
ten, "if your mother is resolved to 
leave us/' He looked towards Mrs. 
Wilton with an expression that was not 
lost upon that lady. 

"As dear Lady Fan^haw was observ- 
ing," returned Mrs. Wilton, "I have 
moped myself so long in the country, 
that I have absolutely anticipated old 
age. You know my plans are fixed, 
child ; so let me hear no more of your 
whims." 

Mr. Austen dismissed Caroline upon 
some pretence, and then boldly ap- 

VOL. II. C 



14 

pealed to Mrs. Wilton's feelings ; and 
neither disguised his own fears nor the 
opinion of Dr. W. 

\Yjth that ease with which persons re- 
sist conviction who are pre-determined 
in their own mind, the lady refuted all 
that militated against her wishes. 

Mr. Austen now changed his ground; 
and at length wrung from her a reluc- 
tant assent to the petition of Caroline. 

Marian heard this decision with real 
concern, and for a few hours seemed 
ready to resign the promised pleasure, in 
order to he with Caroline ; but Lady 
Faashaw arriving, and reading part of a 
letter from Paris, in which so much was 
said of its gaieties and the charming 
English residents, Marian gladly took 
shelier in the delusion now generally 
accredited by their gay friends, viz. 
"that Caroline was self- willed ; and it 
would be absurd to support her in her 
caprices," 

Marian secretly ascribed much blame 
to Miss Colville. She believed her to 
have influenced Caroline in opposing 



her mother. Under this impression, she 
resolved that that lady should not sup- 
pose she could be imposed upon. 

Circumstances appeared to favour the 
design of Marian. With pleasure she 
listened to the delighted Frances as she 
read a note from Miss Percival, an- 
nouncing her acceptance of an invitation 
to take tea in IJarley-street. The age 
of Charlotte Percival would give Marian 
sin advantage she hoped to improve. 
She rememhered her as a lively chatter- 
ing little girl; and, overlooking the period 
that had elapsed since she saw her last, 
persuaded herself she should be able to 
play her off against the odious gover- 
ness. 

The hour of attack arrived. Miss 
Percival reached Harley-street just as 
the dessert was going into the parlour. 

" We had better detain Miss Per- 
cival/' said Mr. Austen as he heard 
th'e carriage draw up, "and send for 
Frances. 1 ' 

44 It will derange all Frances' plans," 
replied Marian eagerly. " Suppose I 
c " 



take their fruit to the school-room ; I 
am quite longing to see Charlotte ; and, 
indeed, I promised to be of their party. " 
Mr. Austen acceded; and Marian has- 
tened to the school-room. 

The ungrateful Charlotte met the 
warm salutations of Miss Wilton with 
politeness, but with less sprightliness 
than Marian anticipated. Tim e had 
corrected the extreme giddiness of Char- 
lotte, without destroying her naturally 
cheerful disposition. " How you are 
grown!" exclaimed Marian ; " why you 
are as tall as Frances. Do you remem- 
ber how we used to enjoy meeting at the 
academy on dancing-days ? What a little 
wild thing you were then/' 

Charlotte's recollections of these wild 
days were not so vivid as Marian's. 
Three years deducted from a life of 
twelve, must necessarily leave a remain- 
der rather unfavourable to strong im- 
pressions. 

11 1 think there were two Miss Wiltons 
who used to dance \uth flowers," said 



17 



iUi f s Percival ; " but I quite forget what 
dance it was." 

"Pray forget the thing altogether, my 
clear/' returned Marian; "we abhor 
show-dancing ; and mamma would he 
shocked to recollect we had ever exhi- 
bited, she dislikes it so much." 

Charlotte was silenced ; but she looked 
towards the young dictator with some 
surprise. " What a horribly cold room 
this is," resumed Marian, seizing the 
poker ; " come, let me m.ikeyou a good 
fire :" and she proceeded to accomplish 
her purpose with great eflect. " Now 
then," she continued, "draw-in, and 
let us have some charades or riddles, 
which you like best/' 

Trances and her visitor declared they 
were warm enough; and, with all the 
awkwardness young people feel when 
their plans are frustated by the presence 
of those who cannot enter into them, sat 
looking at each other without a purpose. 

"That is the worst of a school-room 
parly/' said Marian; "there are so 
many rules. I buppose the rut: is your 
c 3 



18 



limit, Frances ;. you must not approach 
nearer to the fire. Well, I am fully 
sensible of my happiness in this particu- 
lar, and most gratefully acknowledge my 
joy at having survived all the nonsensi- 
cal formalities that are imposed upon us 
as children," 

Charlotte glanced towards Miss Col- 
ville for a moment. Her colour was 
heightened ; but, with a smile that con- 
veyed all its intended meaning to one 
party, she said, 4; Miss Colville knows 
that I always enjoyed a visit to her room ; 
and I am sure this is a very comfortable 
one." 

" I think so too," said Frances; 
" indeed, Marian, I will not allow you 
to find fault with our apartment. ' 

" What good children!" exclaimed 
Marian, laughing; "you remind me of 
the Misses All worthy, and the clear little 
Goodchilds, that one reads of in the 
nursery. But what do you mean to do? 
Do fix ; for I cannot stay long ; 1 am 
going to beat Douglas at chess." 

Frances proposed eating their dessert ; 



19 

and she would then show Charlotte her 
shells, which she had brought from the 
drawing-room for that purpose. Miss 
Percivai expressed her liking for these 
natural curiosities ; and in the course of 
conversation asked Frances if she had 
ever seen her cousin Jane's collection ? 
Frances replied in the negative. " How 
beautifully she has arranged them," said 
Charlotte, addressing Miss Colville ; 
" but, as my mamma says, Jane does 
every thing so thoroughly, and is so clear 
in whatever she undertakes to explain, 
that it is quite a pleasure to listen to 
her." 

" Miss Colville has given me Bur- 
rowes's Conchology," observed Frances ; 
" and I am beginning to class my shells by 
it. Lady Jane did hers at first by that 
book." 

" I never could understand what 
pleasure people can find in this sort of 
study," said Marian, taking up a shell ; 
" it is such a stupid employment." This 
was addressed to Miss Colville, but so 
indirectly as not to claim attention. 



20 

" Can you think conchology a useful 
study?'' repeated Marian. 

" It may be made as useful as it is in- 
teresting, ma'am," replied Miss C'olville ; 
"for, in contemplating the variety, 
minuteness, and beauty of shells, it is 
scarcely possible not to refer to the Great 
Author of all things, whose wisdom and 
care are seen in all his works." 

'* You will never convert me to such a 
fiddle-faddle employment," said Marian 
with a sneer. 

"I am persuaded I shall never make 
the attempt," rejoined Miss Colville ; 
" I merely replied to your question." 

" Oh ! but you ought not to despair," 
retorted the incorrigible Marian ; "for 
you have managed my sister completely ; 
she is quite eloquent in your praise." 

" While Miss Wilton, or any other 
young lady, preserves the language and 
manners of a gentlewoman," returned 
Miss Colville; " they will from me 
meet the civility they command. I am 
not however disposed to listen to the 
ill-disguised pudency of a young lady 
who, mistaking wordi for cluq-icncc, 



21 



becomes troublesome where she might 
be amusing." 

"Dear me ! I see you are quite seri- 
ous !" said Marian. " I never could be 
serious but upon great occasions ; so you 
must excuse me if I do not comprehend 
you." 

Frances and her visitor, who felt all the 
shame of the offending party, stood in 
mute astonishment ; till the latter, with a 
naivete that somewhat startled the 
hitherto-undaunted Marian, said, "I 
believe a lady who once lived with you 
is now with the MissTobins." 

" We had so many ladies," drawled 
out Marian, "that it is impossible to 
guess which you mean." 

"The lady I mean is called Marsden 
or Marshall, I think," said Charlotte. 

"O, I remember her," returned Ma- 
rian; "yes, she was well enough in her 
way. But come, do you intend to play 
or not ; for Douglas expects me?" 

Frances begged she would not disap- 
point Mr. Douglas. 

" Mr. Douglas 1 vihat a formal little 



a 

quiz ! Child ! speak like other peo- 
ple ; it looks like affectation to hear a 
girl like you giving such old-fashion- 
ed appellations to boys." 

" My papa does not like me to call any 
person by their surname only," returned 
Frances ; more especially one I have 
known so short a time." 

Marian shrugged her shoulders, and 
hummed a tune. After a pause, she 
turned to Miss Percival, and said. "Pray, 
is it not very odd your cousin Lady 
Jane should go out shopping alone? 
I was quite surprised when I heard it; 
but she has been educated on a particu- 
lar plan I know, so of course she cannot 
act like common people." 

"I don't know that she has been edu- 
cated differently to other girls," returned 
Charlotte; " but I am certain she never 
goes any where without my aunt 
Mercer." 

" I beg your pardon, Charlotte," said 
Marian; "Mr. Austen saw her at a 
shop very lately, and alone." 

"She might be in a shop that my aunt 



knew," observed Charlotte; " but even 
that does not often happen. Aunt Mercer 
is lame ; and, as it is not convenient tor 
her to get out of the carriage when she 
-can avoid it, Jane prevents it whenever 
she can.' 

"Oh ! that is the case, is it?" returned 
Marian ; 4< 1 suppose you are bored to 
death about the excellencies of your 
cousin. Ah ! you blush ; well, I pity 
you ; for nothing is so prosing as that 
sort of thing/' 

" I do not understand you, ma'am,'* 
said Charlotte with some warmth ; ** I 
never till now heard my cousin men- 
tioned but with respect ;" and, turning 
from her bold interrogator, she took a 
seat by Miss Colville, who undesignedlv 
threw her arm round the oft/ended girl, 
Frances put in her claim to the attention 
of Miss Colville ; and, as she seated 
herself at her side, half-laughing, ex** 
claimed, "Do pi ay, Marian, go and 
beat M r. Douglas ; we jvjll aojt detain you 
in tl>e school-room/' 

''In other words, you desire my ab 



H 

sence," returned Marian. t Well, 
Frances, I am not offended ; it is more 
li ke ingenuousness than any thing I 
ever heard from your lips." 

Frances Austen possessed quick feel- 
ings; and there was in this speech an im- 
plied censure, that she could not hear 
unmoved. 

" You are very cruel, Marian," said 
she, her eyes swimming in tears ; "if I 
have said any thing rude to you, I beg 
your pardon ; but indeed you say 
such very strange things yourself, that 
you ought to make allowance for others. 
I am sure, if Charlotte Percival were to 
judge me by the speech you have just 
made, she must think me very un- 
amiable." 

Charlotte whispered something, which 
compelled the tearful Frances to smile. 
Marian thought Miss Colville had caught 
the infection. 

" Excellent little dears as ye are !" ex- 
claimed she, laughing ; " you would not 
venture to avow what causes your pre- 
sent mirth." 

4 



25 

Frances looked towards Charlotte, as 
though she wished to refute this asser- 
tion : Miss Percival hesitated, and seem- 
ed confused. 

"Come, speak out, Frances," said 
Marian; " I see you are going to be 
quite a miracle of candour." 

Frances said " I was silly to be 
vexed at what you said, for you were 
angry ; and all angry people talk non- 
sense." 

Even Marian blushed at this unex- 
pected exhibition of herself ; but she tried 
to feel calm, and might in part have 
succeeded, had she not met the steady 
gaze of Miss Colville, who, with an ex- 
pression she could not misunderstand, 
seemed to warn her from tempting the 
reproof of two mere children. 

" I never could understand looks," 
said Marian, in a haughty tone; u so, 
ma'am, if you have any observation to 
make, I beg you will not be afraid of 
giving it utterance." 

u I am not even afraid of the severi- 
ties of Miss Marian Wilton," returned 

VOL. II. 1> 



Miss Colville, " nor awed by her dictate* 
rial manner ; but I may and do sincerely 
deplore that a gid of her age should have 
adopted sentiments, and indulged a habit 
of sarcasm, which must embitter her 
own existence, while they obviously les- 
sen her in the esteem of those with whom 
she associates. " 

With a countenance in which anger 
was strongly expressed Marian seized 
her taper, and, as she half-sarcastically 
dropped a curtsy, said, *' I shall 
not again obtrude my sentiments upon 
your notice, ma'am." 

"I thank VQU, ma'am," returned 
Miss Colville; "you will, in that case, 
spare my solicitation of Mr. Austen for 
a .security from all such interruptions in 
future." 

Marian rushed out of the room-: her 
resentment \\ould have led her to conir 
plain of -the insolent governess, had not 
her -last sentence assured her thai the 
tale might be told in two ways, and she, 
perhaps, not allowed to be the first nar 
jrator. Under this impression, silence 



* 

\vas her only refuge ; but, while she made 
this compromise with herself, and al^ 
lowed its necessity, her feelings, un- 
true to their former bent, keenly accused 
her. She had been reproved, it was 
true, but it was with calmness and po- 
liteness ; conscience told her that had 
not Miss Colville possessed great for- 
bearance, she had long before smarted 
under the reproof that now wounded 
her. Yet, that stubborn pride which 
clings to error, and makes its victim slow 
in admitting conviction, forbade her im- 
mediately making any concession to the 
injured party. 

The evening was not to pass without 
her feeling all the distinctness of the 
disposition that unwillingly gives pain, 
and that which prominently seeks occa- 
sion to offend. Miss Colville, with 
Frances and Charlotte, joined the party 
in the drawing-room. Marian had been 
defeated by Mr. Douglas at chess; and 
was sitting listlessly turning over a book 
of prints, but with which she did not ap- 
pear to take any interest. Caroline had 
D 2 



28 

taken her sister's place at the chess-board ; 
and, as she saw Miss Colville enter, 
beckoned her with a silent smile to look 
over the game. 

Miss Colville stood for some time, 
pleased to perceive the animation with 
which Caroline pursued the game. On 
her quitting the chess-table, to the 
surprise of all present, Marian pre- 
sented her a chair ; it was the one from 
which she had just risen. Miss Col- 
ville observed this. "Oh! pray take 
it," said Marian; "I am tired of sit- 
ting." Miss Colville smiled, but ac- 
cepted the offered seat. 

"Why do you smile?" asked Ma- 
rian ; "is it at my negative compli- 
ment." 

"I believe I must plead guilty," re- 
plied Miss Colville good-humouredly ; 
"yet we are told that our virtues are 
negative, by which I understand that 
they are involuntary; your civility 
was of that class, though you do not 
think so." 



29 

t 'Suppose I Were to allow that Von 
were right, what would you say?" re- 
turned Marian. 

"Why, I should feel pleased," re- 
plied Miss Colville, "that Miss Ma- 
rian Wilton permitted such a convic- 
tion to rest on her mind; persuaded as 
I am that it would add greatly to her 
happiness." 

"You are excessively odd!" said 
Marian. * ' I expected to be talked at ; 
in short, I thought you would be full 
of resentment ; instead of which I find 
you more civ , that is, more inclined 
to talk to me than you have ever been 
since I knew you." 

"There you are wrong; it is not 
I, but you that are changed," returned 
Miss Colville, laughing. 

"How very provoking," said Ma- 
rian ; " cannot you yield for once ? I 
see you are of an obstinate disposition. 
But, pray did you tell Charlotte Per- 
cival to apologize for what she said to 
me?"' 

D3 



50 

Miss Colville admitted that she had 
desired her to do so. 

"How incomprehensible, " said Ma- 
rian; " for I am sure at the moment 
you thought the observation appli- 
cable." 

" I now think it was perfectly suited 
to the occasion," returned Miss Col- 
ville; "and it was on that account I 
more particularly wished to ehe'ck 
Miss Percivars addicting herself to a 
habit of saying smart thing-. I know 
her mamma, and am convinced she 
would thank me for setting her daugh- 
ter right." 

"This does not help me in the least, " 
said Marian ; "then you think the re- 
proof was appropriate, and you only 
noticed it because it might be detri- 
mental to Charlotte. I declare I think 
her a very clever girl ; and I can as- 
sure you she did not offend me." 

Miss Colville shook her head. "You 
were not, you could not, be pleased," 
she said, "that a mere child should 
expose your feelings! The thing is 



31 

out of nature; and you now defend her 
against your own judgment." 

" Well, if you will understand my 
feelings better than I do myself/' re- 
turned Marian in a cheerful tone, "it 
is useless to argue with you ; but why 
you should blame poor Charlotte, is to 
me an enigma, as you insist that her 
observation possessed fitness ; which, 
entrc iwits, is not very civil to poor 
me." 

"I cannot recede," said Miss Col- 
ville' "it is always in the power of a 
lively girl to utter flippant observa- 
tions. 1 grant that these things are of- 
ten overvalued and injudiciously ad- 
mired by those who should condemn 
them. This, however, does not alter 
their tendency ; they are unamiable, as 
connected with the wounds they in- 
flict, and dangerous in every point of 
view to her who indulges their prac- 
tice. " 

"Then you are no friend to wit?" 
asked Marian. 

"Wit," replied Miss Colville, "to 



be effective must be genuine. As I 
understand it, it is the union of' 
cultivated intellect with a lively 
imagination. Of course, we do not 
expect to meet it in the young. I be- 
lieve the talent to be most rare; and 
even where it does exist, I never heard 
that it added to the happiness of its 
possessor, or increased the number of 
friends." 

Frances and Charlotte, who had 
been silently observing the altered 
manner of Marian, now approached. 
They had a petition to prefer, viz. 
M that Miss Colville would oblige them 
by playing a quadrille." Mr. Douglas 
had promised to join them, if he were 
wanted. They made sure of Marian. 
Caroline had declined their invitation, 
but expressed a wish to see them 
dance* The arrangement was soon 
made, and the party enjoyed them- 
selves for nearly an hour. During the 
time the card-players from the adjoin- 
ing room had stationed themselves as 
spectators of the cheerful group. 



33 

Mrs. Wilton pressed Caroline to ex 
ert herself, and dance one quadrille. 
The looks of Mrs. Wilton assured 
Miss Colville that the invalid had en- 
deavoured to excuse herself. 

In the next moment, to her sur- 
prise, Caroline said she would try. She 
stood up, and made the required effort, 
but had not gone through one figure 
before she fainted, and was carried to 
her room in a state of insensibility. 
All was confusion ; and the loud la- 
mentations of Mrs. Wilton proved not 
the least part of the embarrassment. 
Miss Colville would have followed the 
mother and daughters, had not her re- 
collection of Mrs. Wilton's former in- 
civility deterred her. She was soon 
however summoned thither, and this 
at the instance of that lady. With 
many nattering expressions she de- 
clared she believed Miss Colville had 
fascinated dear Caroline, c. The 
governess took her station by the in- 
valid, and Mrs. Wilton hastened to 
impart the tidings of the complete con* 



n 

talescence of her daughter. Mafiaii 
tvould have remained with her sister,- 
but at the desire of Caroline she re- 
tired. 

" I hope my mother has not been 
much alarmed," said Caroline; "if I 
could be sure of this, I would rather 
rejoice that I have proved my inabi- 
lity to exert myself; which has, I 
know, been questioned." 

It was not easy to settle this point; 
for, with MissColville, it was aninvaria- 
hle principle that the commands and au- 
thority of a parent, if they could not con- 
scientiously be enforced, should never 
be censured, She therefore parried this 
appeal, and rather attempted to persuade 
Caroline that she had fatigued herself in 
the morning by packing the dressing- 
case and work-boxes of the intended 
travellers. Caroline felt the full force of 
this delicate forbearance ; and, as she 
pressed the hand of Miss Colville, she 
exclaimed, " What an erring prejudiced 
girl I have been ! I know where the 
grand fault lies, however ; and it is from 



this that I hope to prove myself worthy 
of your continued kindness," 

" You remember what was said by an 
eminent philosopher/' observed Miss 
Colville smiling; 'Know thyself i'-"-it 
is indeed the grand secret of all wisdom 
for it is certain that, unless we form 
a tolerably accurate idea of our own 
hearts, we shall be very ill qualified to 
judge of others. B.UI, shall I re^d to 
you, or are you disposed to rest ?" 

" Blair's Sermons are upon the table,'* 
said Caroline ; "you will find a mark in, 
it : will you finish the sermon on ' Gea.- 
tleness?.'-' 

Miss Colville complied. Her auditor 
reclined upon a sofa, deeply intent 
upon the subject ; at times interrupting, 
to admire the benignity with which the 
author recommends the virtue he so 
amiably delineates. 

" Gentleness, according to Dr. Blair,*' 
said Caroline, as Miss Colville : ciose4 
he sermon, "is particularly 

the young; but 1 think there 



36 

trials, even in childhood, which will af- 
fect some dispositions more than others." 
"That cannot be disputed, my dear," 
returned Mks Colville; "the trials of 
children, however, are chiefly those of 
temper : that they at the time prove 
formidable, and inflict a pain proportion- 
ed to the physical strength of the erring, 
I readily admit ; yet I am not disposed 
to regard the selfishness, violence, orper- 
verseness of children, with the leniency 
that many persons do. If children want 
that nicety 01 judgment which distin- 
guishes the mature in years, there are 
few of them of common capacity who 
cannot readily decide between light and 
wrong. You will smile, my dear Miss 
Wilton, when I say that it is the want of 
sensibility which produces all the mise- 
ries of childhood ; and yet that is a word 
I would never use to a child, nor-attempt 
to define its meaning by even remote al- 
lusion; for I should then probably in- 
culcate affectation while I was simply 
endeavouring to make them Christians.' 1 




Her acactLtox' xeclined on a sofa, deeply intent upon, 
tke sulrject. 



37 

Caroline looked inquiry ; and begged 
Miss Colville would explain. 

"That sublime and always applicable 
precept, ' Do unto others, c.' " replied 
Miss Colville, "contains the essence of 
all moral virtue, and the rule for our 
conduct from the cradle to the grave. 
The habit of submitting, of reflecting, 
on what we have done, and simply ask^ 
ing ourselves if we would like to suffer 
the pain we have inflicted, of bearing the 
taunt, the unkind expression, the un^ 
feeling laugh, or the churlish withhold- 
ing of any happiness we could have eon 
ferred. These perfectly intelligible 
questions, addressed even to a mere in<- 
fant, will have their weight; and, coukj 
we divest ourselves of their importance, 
as connected with the future conduct of 
those we love, it is undeniable that the 
happiness of infancy would be greatly 
increased, were the cultivation of the 
temper more seriously considered." 

"I more clearly comprehend your 
definition of sensibility now," returned 

VOL. ii. $ 



38 

Caroline, smiling; "yes, I allow the full 
force of all you have said. " 

" It is not my definition, my dear," 
said Miss Colville. "/ merely point 
out for your observation the real cha- 
racter of a quality which is often mis- 
taken. Much has been said and writ- 
ten upon the subject of Sensibility. 
I would recommend you to read Mrs. 
Bowdler's Essays ; you will there 
find one devoted to this particular sub- 
ject ; and it is well and pleasingly de- 
lineated. There is also a beautiful little 
poem by Mrs. Hannah Moore, on sen- 
sibility, written \vit\\ much truth and 
feeling." 

" Tell me," said Caroline, "and 
do ribt fear to wound me, do you think 
Marian wants this virtue or quality : 
I know not which to call it ?" 

" Why, in truth, I doubted her pos- 
session of a particle of sensibility till 
this evening,' 1 replied Miss Colville ; 
"and now I can scarcely venture to 
denominate what I see from her such. 
The trait was slight; but it havingsome 



affinity to humility, she may perhaps 
deserve more credit than I at this 
moment can conscientiously give to 
her." 

" I am afraid you judge by her vola- 
tile spirits," said Miss Wilton ; " but 
I can assure you she has excellent 
feelings." 

"Then she has been most unjust to 
herself, my dear," returned Miss Col- 
ville ; " for never were these ornaments 
of the human character more com- 
pletely hidden than in Miss Marian 
Wilton." 

"I am sorry you think so, and in- 
deed you wrong her," said Miss Wil- 
ton ; * l for even where she has appeared 
most culpable, I know she was secretly 
disposed to pursue a different conduct, 
had not false shame prevented her. I 
allude to her pertness to you:"* 
and Caroline blushed immoderately. 

Miss Colville would have declined 
further conversation ; but Caroline so 
earnestly assured her that it was her wish 



40 

to converse with her concerning her 
sister, that she could not refuse. 

< * Well, then, my dear M iss Wilton, " 
said Miss Colville, "let me ask you 
what evidence of good feeling can 
there be seen from a young person 
adopting presumptuous language and 
a froward manner towards one who 
never gave her offence ? And if, as 
you believe, she really assumed these 
airs against the conviction of her bet- 
ter reason, can such a girl be ingenu- 
ous ? Does it not rather argue an ad- 
dress truly lamentable in one so young ? 
As to the false shame you ascribe as 
the motive for her continuance of self- 
deception ; it is an apology that is too 
often accepted, while, in justice, it 
should be denounced." 

"Poor Marian!" exclaimed Caro- 
line; "you must, you shall know her 
better. Indeed she has a very affec- 
tionate heart. Did you see how fright- 
ened she was when I fainted ?" 

" I did not say she wanted natural 
affection," returned Miss Colville, 



m 

'* that would shock our feelings. She 
has no real sensibility ; it is for this I 
contend. For instance, her behaviour 
to Mrs. Cox : could any thing be more 
undisguisedly rude, more painful, if 
that lady could have understood her 
looks ? I suspect that the recollections 
of Mrs. Cox have helped hev to esti- 
mate her reception properly." 

" Mamma thinks so," returned Miss 
Wilton ; "and is vexed at it; but you 
must allow, my dear MissColville, that 
one cannot like such people when they 
intrude uninvited." 

"I will allow," said Miss Colville, 
*' that a very silly sort of pride will often 
lead us to feel ashamed where we 
ought to show compassion ; and I 
venture to add, that your sister thought 
the lady but a better sort of pauper. 
Had she known she was rich, I am 
persuaded she would have observed a 
different deportment; for, though 
Miss Marian has some prejudices against 
rank, she values money." 

"Yet in her heart she admires 



42 

Lady Jane ; I can vouch for that i" 
said Caroline. 

' ' Miss Colville smiled, and said, 
" How invaluable is an ingenuous dis- 
position ! This is perhaps one of the 
happiest illustrations of your natural 
character that can be elicited. I do 
not allo\y false shame to obtrude here, " 
continued Miss Colville, taking the 
hand of the blushing Caroline. " Why 
should you regret being just ? To 
hear you avow a liberality of feeling so 
suited to your age and sex, gives me 
great pleasure; yet, believe me, I have 
never been blinded by the sentiments 
the same object has frequently called 
forth. No. my dear, there is an acri- 
mony in the language of those who 
condemn indiscriminately, which al- 
ways occasions us to arraign their mo- 
tives." 

"Then you think it was envy?' 5 
asked Caroline, in a subdued voice: "I 
fear you are right. But I confess we 
were so often taunted with the praisec 



43 

of Lady Jane, and when we failed in 
any thing we attempted, were so perse-* 
cuted and tormented by our masters, 
who always spoke so flatteringly of her,. 
that we disliked her before we saw her ; 
and I am afraid the very circum- 
stance that should have corrected our 
folly served but to confirm it, for we 
found her superior in every respect," 

' ' There is only one observation which 
J do not exactly understand," returned 
Miss Colville ; 'your being taunted 
with the praises of Lady Jane'. Is not 
this weak? Where is the being who 
does not feel his or her inferiority to 
some more highly-giftedfellow-mortal? 
" Do not we point out the mean ca- 
pacity, and the vicious character, as 
objects of pity and contempt? and 
with similar purpose, are not the in- 
formed and amiable placed before us, as 
points to which our ambition should 
be directed ?" 

" Ah ! this should be the case r" re-* 
plied Caroline, sighing ; " I wish I had 



44 

considered it in this light, I should 
then have been a happier girl." 

" I hope there is much happiness yet 
in your power, my dear," observed 
Miss Colville. "To me it is evident 
you will deserve to be happy, for your 
reelings seem perfectly under control ; 
and I know nothing more conducive 
to peace of mind, than dispositions well 
regulated. But you must be cheerful ! 
I am an enemy to gloom of all kinds ; 
nor must you dispirit me. Remember, 
I am to be the responsible person dur- 
ing your mamma's absence; and, 
though I will not allow young ladies to 
have nerves, yet it is possible I may be 
guilty of such a weakness, if you teach 
me to distrust my matronly qualifica-* 
tions." 

Caroline declared her willingness to 
submit to the opinion of her new friend 
in all things. With animated expres- 
sions of regard, they parted for the 
night. 

If Caroline reflected with surprise 
upon this newly-formed compact with 



45 

the woman she had so lately overlook- 
ed, Marian was equally astonished at 
herself. She had, in the course of this 
evening, insulted and courted the no- 
tice of the same person. Marian had 
prided herself upon her consistency, and 
had always thought it mean to yield 
her opinions ; yet she had now done so 
unsolicited ; and, as she reviewed the 
last few hours, it became a question in 
her mind, whether it would not be de- 
rogatory to follow up a conduct that 
so decidedly gave the advantage to 
her antagonist. 

But the morning brought its accus*- 
tomed bustle : tradespeople and pack- 
ing-cases alternately occupied her at- 
tention ; and it is probable she would 
not have thought of Miss Colville for 
some time, had not Frances and she 
resorted to the drawing-room for the 
purpose of the music-lesson. Mr. 
Douglas, who had been patiently dis- 
entangling the twine for the hasty 
Marian, half-smiling, declared "they 



46 

wanted harmony ;" and proceeded to 
open the piano for Frances. 

"You are so awkward and provok- 
ing," said Marian. "I wish you 
would leave me to myself; it is such a 
bore to have stupid people about one! 
Do ring the bell I want my maid." 

Douglas obeyed ; and a footman was 
ordered to send Foster directly. FOSH 
ter made her appearance : Mr. Douglasi 
rose: nay, Miss Colville for a mo- 
ment was deceived ; for the dress of 
this person was so highly fashionable 
as to make her station in life uncer- 
tain. 

" You are talking a great deal, Ma 
rian," said Mrs. Wilton from the ad- 
joining room; "positively, child, you 
have made me write perfect nonsense, " 
Mrs. Wilton entered the drawing- 
room, tearing the note she had 
spoiled. "Mr. Austen will think us 
very troublesome, I fear/ 7 she continued, 
looking around her at the disordered 
state of the apartment; "1 must beg 
you will finish your packing in your own 



47 

room. Foster, remove these things as 
quick as possible." Foster proceeded to 
obey her mistress ; and, with two large 
bonnet-boxes, was making her egress as 
Mr. Austen entered. " Douglas," said 
he, " where is your gallantry? Can 
you suffer a lady to carry these things ?" 
Taking one of the boxes from the con- 
fused domestic, he bade Douglas assist 
in conveying them according to the di- 
rection of the lady. 

Douglas was prompt in attending to 
the wish of Mr. Austen, and, after some 
little altercation with Foster, departed 
with the boxes. Upon rejoining his 
friends, he found Mr. Austen laughing 
immoderately. "So this very gay -look- 
ing personage," said he, "is your ser- 
vant ! Upon my word, madam, these 
mistakes, though ludicrous in some points, 
are highly injurious to the party thus 
mistaken.. Her feelings may be momen- 
tarily wounded by my error; vanity, 
however, will soon set all to-rights ; and 
she will triumph in being mistaken for 
hir superior. 5 ' 



48 

"But who ever heard of ladies carry- 
ing boxes ?" inquired Marian ; "at best, 
she might have been a dress-maker; or* 
something of that sort." 

u Admitting this, Marian," said Mr. 
Austen, "I hope you do not class such 
persons with your domestic servants? 
Young people should learn to discrimi- 
nate. It is highly necessary you should 
know, and endeavour to adopt the man- 
ners and language suited to the various 
classes in society." 

"I am persuaded yours was a wilful 
mistake," said Mrs. Wilton, laughing; 
"you wished to lecture us upon our too 
great indulgence of poor Foster ; but she 
is a useful creature. You should recol- 
lect, my dear sir, that persons in her 
capacity must necessarily make a good 
appearance from the perquisite of our 
wardrobes." 

" My poor Clara had the best notions 
on this subject," returned Mr. Austen; 
"she acted like other ladies in allowing 
them what belonged to their situations ; 
but never engaged an attendant who 



would not agree to dress like a servant. 
The consequences of this arrangement 
were soon seen : more than one of her 
attendants have settled respectably ; and 
to all of them I have occasionally had 
the pleasure of being banker. This can 
never be the case, where the pride of 
appearance above their station is allowed 
to exist." 

"Clara was a very superior woman/' 
said Mrs. Wilton; *" I always looked on 
her with wonder; she did every thing 
so quietly, and yet did so much. But 
then, she was not much in the wbrld ; 
you should allow for that." Mr. Aus- 
ten shook his head, and turning to Dou- 
glas, said, "I suppose I ought to apo- 
logize to vou for claiming your service 
in behalf of Mrs. Wilton's maid. This, 
houever, I should call absurd. It is a 
part of the manly character to shew ci- 
vility to woman, let her station be what 
it may; and if at any time you can 
spare her fatigue, or by a little effort 
prevent any personal inconvenience, rest 
assured you are doing right. Indeed, 

VOL. II. F 



50 

this is a part of the sensibility which 
should distinguish the stronger sex." 

Douglas, with truth, declared all apo- 
logies to him were unnecessary. 

"If Douglas is as awkward," said 
Marian, "in carrying boxes as I have 
found him in the packing department, I 
shall tremble for my poor bonnet." 

"Mr. Douglas, if you please, Marian," 
said Mr. Austen; " I have often wished 
to correct you in this particular. Pray 
remember it is unpolite in a female to 
omit the proper appellations when speak- 
ing to gentlemen. How long have you 
known my friend Douglas?" 

"Above a year, sir," replied Marian, 
haughtily; " we were on a \isit at the 
same house." 

"At General V said Mr. 

Austen ; " I recollect ; at your relati- 
on's !" addressing Miss Colville. 

"Then I am right," observed Marian; 
" I told Caroline I was sure it was 
you." She took a seat by Miss Col- 
ville, and added, "What a delightful 
time we had at Carrow Lodge. Oh ! 



51 

you must know Roche ! Is be not a 
pleasant creature ? How sadly we 
missed him, when the fidgettyold Gene- 
ral's concert party drove him away: it 
grew very flat from that moment. But 
it is so odd you never reminded us of 
that meeting I" 

"Why, I am not exactly certain that 
you saw me at Carrow Lodge,' 1 returned 
Miss Colville, smiling; "I had no 
reason for thinking it probable, for I do 
not recollect exchanging one word with 
you." 

"Hem!" said Marian; "I suppose 
you are right. I did not know it was 
quite so bad; but I arn getting into a 
new dilemma, for I think Mr. Austea 
said you were related to the General ! 
Well, you must allow he was in fault ; 
for, if he had introduced you by name, 
we must have recollected you." 

" He did not neglect this necessary 
etiquette," said Miss Colville, good-na- 
turedly; "yet Mr. Roche should be 
charged with your part of the oversight ; 
for you were at the moment listening to 
F 2 



52 

Some wonderful details of his success in 
frightening old quizzes with detonating 
balls." 

** If Roche is eccentric," returned 
Marian, laughing, " I am sure you are 
not less so: who could have imagined 
you knew us so well ? But you seem to 
infer that Roche's stories are wonder- 
ful ! Now that is suspicious ; do you 
think he exaggerates?" 

"Most certainly I do," replied Miss 
Colville; "nay, he cannot hope to be 
believed; for his anecdotes insult com- 
mon sense." 

"How cruel!" exclaimed Marian, 
hastily; "prav, say no more. I see Dou- 
glas is enjoying this attack upon the re- 
putation of his friend: it is truly illi- 
beral!" 

"I must beg to contradict you, 
ma'am," said Douglas; "Roche is no 
friend of mine; and what Miss Col- 
ville has said, is only what all who know 
him are in the habit of saying." 

" So you are a connexion of Gene- 
ral ," said Mrs. Wilton, rising 



53 

from a writing-table, where she had 
seemingly been engaged; "a most 
agreeable man, a little fastidious per- 
haps, but quite the gentleman. I can- 
not account for our not recollecting 
you. The General is said to be rich, 
I hope'he will remember his friends. " 
Mrs. Wilton smiled readily, as she sug- 
gested the idea of liberality in another. 

Miss Colville smiled too, but it was 
from a more liberal feeling ; she did not 
desire the posthumous remembrances 
of one whose life flowed on in a con- 
stant course of benevolence. 

" We have been very troublesome 
this morning," said Mrs. Wilton; " I 
fear we have interrupted your music- 
lesson, Frances ? but, as this is our last 
day, perhaps papa will give you leave 
to goto the Bazaar with us." 

Frances looked anxiously at her fa- 
ther; and, as she received his assent, 
in a half-whisper to Miss Colville said 
she should use more judgment in her 
purchases than on the last memorable 
day. Y 3 



54 

" Reflect, if you really want any 
thing just now," said Miss Colville; 
"it is not absolutely necessary you, 
should expend money, as you are going 
with those who will. I do not wish 
you to be niggardly; but, pray look into 
your account-book before you decide, 
and reflect that you have half pro- 
mised to give some assistance to Betty's 
mother." 

" I think I did not promise it," re- 
turned Frances thoughtfully ; " if you 
recollect, I only said that I should 
like to pay a quarter's rent for her." 

" It was said in tbe presence of Betty, 
my dear, "said Miss Colville; "and \viih 
this additional clause, that you could 
easily afford it out of your allowance. 
You have therefore raised hopes which 
you would be scarcely justified in dis- 
appointing." 

Frances looked abashed ; the subject 
was incontrovertible; but, believing 
she might yet keep her promise, and 
indulge her taste to a certain extent, 
she assured Miss Colville she would 



think of all she had said ; and she then 
hastened to prepare for her expedition. 

" Douglas departed upon some bu- 
siness of his own, leaving Mr. Austen 
at liberty to inquire how far the late 
addition to his family had interfered 
with his daughter's usual habits. 

Miss Colville was satisfied that the 
pursuits of her pupil had not been ma- 
terially injured; but with candour 
avowed her fear that Frances was likely 
to be influenced by the conversation 
and too mature manners of Marian 
Wilton. " She sees the faults of her 
cousin/' said she ; " nay, I might add, 
she plays them off with too much 
truth, not to make me anxious that she 
should be spared a contemplation so in- 
jurious to a girl of lively spirits. It is 
difficult to direct a child under such 
circumstances ; one would not make 
her a censor of the conduct of others, 
nor is it desirable that she should be 
indifferent to the prominent foibles of 
a character like Miss Marian's. I 
already perceive my charge more prone 



56 

to ridicule than formerly ; she detects 
blemishes, and imagines peculiarities in 
persons she used to respect. Yet her 
feelings, generally speaking, are infinitely 
more liberal than they were. The 
striking difference I perceive, is a strong 
desire to justify her little flippancies, by 
ascribing her errors to youth. This I 
will not allow to be a general principle. 
The mistakes of youth must take rise in 
ignorance of what is right ; and for such 
omissions I make due allowance. But 
when a mere infant utters the sarcasm of 
an ill-timed jest that too often deforms 
the experienced, I must reprove the imi- 
tator, however successful, and treat the 
attempt with the severity it merits." 

"Perfectly correct," said Mr. Austen ; 
1 ' I leave my child in your hands ; do with 
her as you think right. I think Caro- 
line will not prove troublesome." 

11 On the contrary, sir," returned 
Miss Colville ; " I expect much advan- 
tage from Miss Wilton's residence in 
your family, if she preserves the same 



57 

teachable dispositions she shews at pre- 
sent." 

Delighted at the report of Caroline, 
Mr. Austen tried to persuade himself 
that the young invalid would disappoint 
the predictions of Dr. W. and, by a life 
of useful and well-directed exertion, ac- 
quire that tone of health, which contrary 
habits and irregular exercise had so 
greatly deranged. 

This last day in London was to be a 
gala-day to Frances: she was permitted 
to dine with the family. Miss Colville, 
during the absence of her pupil, employ- 
ed the morning in making a few visits, 
promising to join the party at the tea- 
table. 

Frances was inconceivably disap- 
pointed upon her return to find the 
school-room vacant. She had much to 
say and to explain; and she felt that 
though she could be eloquent at that 
moment, it might not be so easy to go 
into detail a few hours more. She spread 
her purchases before her, pronounced 
them all useful, if not necessary to the 



.58 

parties for whom they were designed. 
She had some idea of settling her ac- 
counts, but Marian entered the room, 
and she knew such an employment 
would excite her ridicule. So, placing 
her treasures in a basket till she could 
display them to Miss Colville, she gave 
the hour before dressing- time to her 
cousins. 

While society imposes upon grown 
persons such restraints as prevent the 
well-bred from saying or doing any thing 
impolite, it is observable that young 
people frequently err in this particular; 
and, though tractable and civil in their 
ordinary habits, no sooner find them- 
selves in company, than they throw off 
these real recommendations of youth, 
and become noisy, talkative, and intru- 
sive. The mistake is unfortunate, for 
it proceeds from an idea that cheerful- 
ness must be heard in place of being 
seen ; and that none but ridiculous old- 
fashioned people preach about being 
* merry and wise.' These must be the 
motives by which their conduct is influ- 



enced, or they could riot fall into the 
error here described. Yet their under 
standings are appealed to, and that 
acuteness with which they seize upon the 
foibles of their seniors in years : how 
readily they point out the lady who 
talks too much, the grammatical mis- 
take, or the awkward habit ! Are these 
things selected for imitation, or are they 
subjects of amusement. 

If the former, it is certain they some- 
times prove successful mimics ; but the 
latter is the actuating principle. Let it 
sink deep in the mind, that ridicule and 
mimicry are common and universal ta- 
lents, not confined to wit and genius, 
but the weapons with which the merest 
driveller believes he can amuse, if he 
cannot wound. 

And, though it is easy to declare that 
you do not heed these attacks when ap- 
plied to yourself, the assertion must be 
received with limitation. It is not al- 
ways that courage befriends in the mo- 
ment of need ; nor is it ever seen that 
those who indulge in these practices 



60 

are quiescent under the retaliation they 
had tempted. 

Upon Miss Colville's return she pro- 
ceede^to the drawing-room, and found 
the young people had assembled. Two 
ladies, particular friends of Mr. Aus- 
ten, were in conversation at one end 
of the room. Marian and Frances, 
with boisterous mirth, were daring Mr. 
Douglas to snuff the candles with his 
left hand. " The attempt has been made 
already," said he, " with some damage 
to the table ; so I shall not make the 
experiment." 

44 See here, Douglas, I will do it this 
time," said Frances; and she proceed- 
ed to execute her purpose; but, failing, 
extinguished the light, and threw the 
wax upon the table. 

" Here is Miss Colville I declare !" 
exclaimed Marian, half-pleased at 
having led Frances into a predicament, 
as she called it. 

Frances ran to welcome her gover- 
ness. "I was so sorry not to find you 
3 



at home when we returned," said she; 
"I wanted you particularly." 

"That was unfortunate," said Miss 
Colville, laughing ; " but I think you 
wanted me when I arrived?" 

"O ! I will clear up the wax di- 
rectly," said Frances, rubbing the ta- 
ble with her gloves. " There now, it is 
all clean again. Douglas, put the chairs 
in their places : papa cannot bear to 
see them in disorder. So now, all is 
right : come, sit down, and tell me 
where you have been ; have you seen 
Lady Jane?" 

"I have," replied Miss Colville; 
"but I have not yet spoken to Mrs. 
Vaughan or Mrs. Wilton :" and, whis- 
pering a few words in the ear of 
Frances, she advanced to those ladies. 

"Poor Frances!" tittered Marian, 
"you have had a brief lecture, but un- 
questionably a very potent one. Come 
though, look cheerful, this is my night, 
and I am determined every body shall 
be as ridiculous as I please." 

Struck by this avowal, Frances felt 
VOL. n. G 



tluit sheliad been acting wliolly under 
the direction of her giddy friend. The 
words that had fallen from Miss Col- 
ville, and which had appeared ill-timed 
even to her ear, now seeme d a ppro- 
priate. 

61 1 am not behaving properly/' 
thought she; "but Miss Colville shall 
see I attend to what she says." 

"So you will allow us to see each 
other at last," observed Mrs. Wilton, 
advancing to the table. "We have 
been in darkness two or three times; 
and I believe your attempts did not 
succeed, did they?" 

" Douglas is so clumsy," replied 
Marian; "he could make nothing of 
it; I have seen it done very adroitly." 

Douglas laughingly declared that 
" the plot, with all its darkness, rested 
with the young ladies." 

"Roche would have taken such a 
thing upon himself with the greatest 
good-nature," said Marian; "but you 
want tact." 



63 

" So he docs, Marian!" echoed 
Frances. 

The ladies regarded Miss Austen 
with surprise, while Miss Colville could 
scarcely believe it was her pupil who 
thus freely used a term she scarcely 
comprehended. Frances saw her error ; 
and, covered with confusion, muttered 
something about the Bazaar and her 
purchases, and hastened out of the 
room. She returned in a few minutes, 
followed by Miss Wilton and her mo- 
ther. She found Miss Colville witn 
her work-box before her, and the visi- 
tors similarly employed. With her 
usual prominence of manner, Marian 
seized the property of Frances, and 
was on the point of explaining their 
designation and price, when Frances, 
with some pettishness and a slight 
struggle, regained possession of her 
property. 

Miss Colville looked on in silence. 

44 What do you think this cost?" 
asked Frances rather timidly, present- 
ing a plaid silk handkerchief for Miss 



64 

Colville's inspection. "Only four 
shillings ! the cheapest thing in the 
world. This is for Betty, she is so 
fond of a plaid handkerchief;" and 
she put it on one side. "Well, here 
is the most complete thing I ever saw ; 
a little case, with a gold bodkin, a pair 
of scissars, a pencil, and a knife. I 
think I shall give this to Charlotte Per- 
cival ; but I am not quite certain. Oh ! 
dear, where is the puzzle I bought for 
nurse's little boy : here it is ; see what 
a very curious thing ! Do look, Miss 
Colville, it is the Chinese puzzle." 

" It will prove a puzzle to the child, " 
said Miss Colville; "for I believe he 
can scarcely articulate a word." 

"But his mother can take care of 
it for him, " returned Frances ; ' ' really 
it was so ingenious, I could not resist 
buying it." 

"They are as common as possible, 
child," said Marian; "only you have 
not happened to see them." 

" It is very odd that you who live 
in the country," returned Frances, 



65 

"should know so much about every 
thing that I mention." 

Miss Colvilie regarded her pupil stea- 
dily for a moment ; then gently remind- 
ing her that her knowledge of what was, 
or was not common, must, from her age 
and usual habits of life, be very limited, 
bade her express herself with less ve- 
hemence. " Marian is very teazing," 
said Caroline, making room for Frances 
to sit by her; "but you recollect she 
declared she will make us all as ridicu- 
lous as herself to-night ; so we will not 
mind her, Frances." 

Marian now produced her Bazaar 
purchases, which consisted of fancy 
rings, scent-bottles, &c. One of the 
former she presented to Frances as a 
peace-offering; and it appeared that the 
present was effective ; for Frances was 
rapturous in her admiration, and 
thanks for the "dear little ring.' 7 

"Were you not premature in making 
purchases of this description in London, 
Marian r" asked Mrs. Vaughan. "Bau- 
bles of all kinds are so cheap in France j 
G3 



66 

and a present from Paris is so highly va- 
lued, 1 wonder you did not wait till you 
had visited that great city." 

" I shall buy things like other people, 
of course, when I get there," returned 
Marian ; " hut one need not be shabby 
here, because one is going where they 
are to be had cheaper. 1 like making 
presents ; I always did. Mamma knows 
1 never could keep any thing that was 
given to me whenever any one admired 
it; I was sure to give it to them." 

"I know you are foolishly generous, 
my dear, upon all occasions," said Mrs. 
Wilton. "She was so from an infant," 
turning to the company. "She would 
give away her toys a few hours after they 
were given to her. It is astonishing to 
see the difference in children ! Caro- 
line would part with her money rerfdily ; 
but the merest trifle that was given to 
her, she held sacred. 1 believe there is 
not a greater curiosity than Caroline's 
cabinet at Mount Wilton ; she has all 
her treasures arranged in the greatest 
possible order." 



67 

" Not forgetting Nurse Downe's fa- 
mous mittens of her own special knit-, 
ting," said Marian, laughing. Caroline 
looked distressed at this exhibition of 
her habits ; she seemed to implore the 
silence of her sister. 

" I am an old-fashioned woman," 
said Mrs. Vaughan ; "and never say 
(before young persons especially) what 
1 do not think: thus I pronounce Miss 
\V ikon's to be the liberal disposition, 
and Marian's the ostentatious 
one." 

Marian stared at the unvarnished 
speaker; while Frances exclaimed, "O 
no, she Ls very generous !" 

"I am right, nevertheless, Frances," 
returned Mrs. Vaughan, laughing. "Yes, 
in spite of that pretty ring now glittering 
upon your finger, the thing is indispu- 
table. Marian gives away what she 
does not value; which is neither liberal 
nor generous. Caroline retains what is 
not in itself valuable, but from a feeling 
of liberality towards those who wished 
to shew her respect, she gives thea 



68 

value, and thus convinces us that she is 
grateful as well as generous." 

Mrs. Wilton was not exactly easy 
under this analysis of her daughters' dis- 
positions; yet she would not argue the 
point, Mrs.Vaughan being an old friend, 
and a woman whose good opinion she 
was anxious to retain. 

The arrival of the gentlemen, it was, 
hoped, would check the strictures of the 
candid Mrs. Vaughan. Mr. Austen, 
however, soon did away this hope, by 
inquiring respecting a charity conducted 
by that lady. 

Mrs. Vaughan spoke with animation 
of its success, and enumerated some in- 
stances of the good that had been ef- 
fected since its institution. 

" Have you any young ladies amongst 
your subscribers?" asked Mr. Austen. 
" It appears to me very desirable that 
gilds should appropriate some part of 
their pocket-money to a charity of this 
kind, as it is one that admits of their 
attending and following up the plan. 
Tor it is only by seeing how useful they 



69 

maybe, that some dispositions are roused 
to what they ought to be." 

" We have a number of young sub- 
scribers," replied Mrs. Vaughan ; "but 
we do not accept more than a guinea 
from the juveniles. This we consider 
fair, as it enables many to join us who 
might be excluded such a gratification, 
were the sum larger." Mr. Austen ex- 
plained the nature of the institution to 
his daughter; and, in conclusion, asked 
if she would not like to become a sub- 
scriber? "Very much indeed, papa," 
said Frances; " I should like it exces- 
sively." 

Mr. Austen produced his purse, but, 
happening to glance at Miss Colville, lie 
understood the look with which she re- 
garded the action; he corrected his first 
intention, and begged Mrs. Vaughan 
would place his guinea in her funds. 
"In your name, of course,"' said Mrs. 
Vaughan. 

"in Miss Colville's name, if you 
please/' was the reply- 
Frances could not conceal her disap- 



70 ..i 

poiutmcnt ; she had persuaded herself 
that the guinea, superadded to her name, 
was to place her amongst the young phi- 
lanthropists of the day. Miss Colville 
made some observations upon the insti- 
tution, and expressed her sense of the 
liberality of Mr. Austen, in placing her 
name where she wanted no stimulus to 
place it, saving her sense of justice. 

This explanation was not necessary to 
Mr. Austen, who knew the principles of 
the woman, and the motives which led 
her to pursue her present mode of life. 
Miss Marian Wilton, however, could 
not understand how justice could apply 
to the person who declined assisting a 
cause she appeared to approve. 

" A guinea is such a trifle," said she ; 
"I declare, if I had not packed-up my 
money, and determined not to spend 
another farthing in England, I would 
myself subscribe." 

" It is a pity you have deprived your- 
self of such a pleasure,'' said Miss CoU 
ville; "as a guinea is to you such a 
trifle." 

"Why, I should suppose," returned 



71 

Marian, "there are few persons that 
are respectable people, who could not 
command a guinea !" 

"They might possess such a sum 
without feeling at liberty to dispose of it, 
even for a purpose of chanty," said 
Miss Colville. 

"Well, this maybe very true," re- 
turned Marian, laughing; "but I can- 
not say I understand you." 

" Yet, what Miss Colville has said is 
not difficult to be understood," said Mr. 
Austen : who, while addressing Marian, 
was anxiously regarding his daughter, 
for whose embarrassment and tardiness 
he could not account. " You look grave, 
Frances," he observed; "of what are 
you thinking?" 

"I can hardly say, papa," replied 
Frances; "I believe I was thinking of 
what Miss Colville has said about jus- 
tice." 

"Then you were well employed, 
child," said Mrs. Wilton. " Miss Col- 
ville is right: we must be just, or we can- 
not conscientiously be generous. Come 



72 

here, love !" Frances obeyed. " There,* 1 
continued Mrs. Wilton, "you shall 
subscribe; I know the dear child spent 
her little pocket-money at the Bazaar :" 
she put a guinea into the hand of Miss 
Austen. 

" No, ma'am, indeed I cannot take 
it," said Frances, returning the present; 
" I never accept money; and you know 
it would not be my subscription, if I 
did." 

Mrs. Wilton entreated her not to be 
silly. Frances was firm, and declined it 
civilly. 

Mr. Austen, though pleased with the 
conduct of his daughter, forbore to bribe 
her to persevere in what was right; he 
neither praised her self-denial, nor made 
this effort of principle nugatory, by lay- 
ing down the required subscription for 
her. " You will find," said he, "that 
management is essential in all our worldly 
transactions. We must endeavour to 
balance our real with our imaginary 
wants; and common sense will soon lead 
us to decide equitably. But the habit 



73 

must be uniform, or the result will prove 
us frivolous." 

Caroline, who sat near Miss Colville, 
put a small folded paper into her hand, 
and said significantly, " It is the charade 
/mentioned." 

Miss Colville glanced over the paper, 
and, as she unfolded it, observed, "There 
is taste and delicacy in the design." 

The party begged to share the beauties 
of the admired composition. Miss Col- 
ville, looking towards Caroline, declared 
"she could not act without Miss Wilton's 
permission." 

"No, no, it was only for Miss Col- 
ville," said Caroline, in real agitation. 

The request was not repeated; but, 
though it was withheld from view at that 
moment, Mr. Austen afterwards did am- 
ple justice to the feelings which dictated 
the few following words: "After what 
has passed, it would be impossible to 
come forward as a subscriber to Mrs. 
Vaughan's charity ; will you, my dear 

VOL. n. H 



74 

madam, give the inclosed one-pound to 
that lady for the institution." 

The conversation had taken a more 
general turn. Frances, though thought- 
ful, and rather subdued in spirits, 
listened to what passed; when Marian, 
whose quick eye discovered everything, 
exclaimed, "A rat, a rat!" Some of 
the company started; others laughed. 
"What does she mean?" was the ge- 
neral inquiry. Douglas alone looked 
disconcerted. c ' Let the rat alone, it is 
quiet enough, Miss Marian," said he, 
with Some warmth. "What! and 
frighten poor Miss Colville out of her 
senses!" returned Marian. "No, sir, 
/am not so inhuman;" and, starting up, 
she with aftected fear raised the lid of 
Miss Colville's work-box. A small red 
case claimed her notice. She opened 
it, and found its contents to be a superb 
gold thimble. " How very magnificent," 
she continued; "I declare I never saw 
such a handsome thimble : where did you 
buy it, Doug Mr. Douglas?" 

"Where you rejected the scent-bot- 



75 

ties, "implied Douglas, laughing, "and 
told the woman her assortment was riot 
worth looking at !" 

"What a sly animal," returned Ma- 
rian. "So you were at the Bazaar, and 
we never saw you? It is very true, I 
did say so to the woman; but it will do her 
good; she will improve her stock, and 
gain greatly by my advice." 

"1 am afraid you will not convince 
her that your taste is infallible/' said 
Douglas ; " for she gained two custom- 
ers through your observation, myself 
and a young lady, to whom I saw Miss 
Austen curtsy." 

"It was Lady Jane Milner," observed 
Frances; "I saw her go to the stand 
as we quitted it." 

" Why did not you say she was there?" 
said Marian; "I had something parti- 
cular to ask her." 

"How could I, Marian?" returned 
Frances. "You may remember you 
dragged me away to go up-stairs." 

"Did If" said Marian ; " I dare say 
you are right; the woman annoved me 



76 

so, I was glad to get to a distance. So 
you bought this pretty thing out of pure 
charity?" added Marian, twirling the 
thimble upon her finger. "What a 
compliment to Miss Colville !" 

Caroline involuntarily exclaimed, 
"Oh! Marian." Even Mrs. Wilton 
looked displeased. Mr. Austen turned 
to Douglas: "You have too much 
sense to heed this giddy girl," said he; 
"you must be aware that ridicule, how- 
ever vague or ill applied, has the effect 
of placing the most meritorious actions 
in an absurd light. If it were neces- 
sary, you could, no doubt, answer Ma- 
rian satisfactorily; but I think this would 
be conceding too much." 

"I think so too, sir," said Douglas; 
"so if Miss Colville will do me the fa- 
vour of using this thimble," presenting 
it to her, "the awkward circumstances 
under which it is offered, will, I hope, 
appear unavoidable." 

"I can only quarrel with it as being 
too expensive," returned Miss Colville, 
smiling ; "be assured I shall valueit, Mr. 



77 

Douglas ; but it is not too late. I think 
\vc might add it to the Edinburgh parcel; 
and something less expensive would do 
for me, if I must receive such a mark 
of your respect." 

Douglas would not hear of this ; his 
parcel was on the road ; and he assured 
Miss Colville that his sister was not as 
yet sufficiently expert at her needle, to 
make her thimble of any consequence. 

44 Why, do you know Miss Douglas?" 
asked Marian and Frances in a breath. 
Miss Colville replied in the negative. 
"How very odd then," said Marian: 
1 'do you know what the parcel con- 
tained? if you do, pray tell us; I dare 
say there were some pretty baubles, and 
I am so fond of them !" 

" But is this quite essential to your 
repose?" asked Miss Colville, laugh- 
ing. "I think not ; and, as you have 
really caused Mr. Douglas one of those 
awkward nesses which it is not easy to 
describe, though their effect is trying, 
we must punish such curious young 
ladies; must we not Mr. Douglas?" 
H 3 



78 

"I answer for him," said Mr. Aus- 
ten. " You say right, Miss Colville ; 
to have a good-natured plan, or an in- 
tended surprise, defeated by the inter- 
ference of a third person, not interested 
in the denotement, is provoking. So we 
leave these inquisitives to puzzle over 
what they are not to be told." 

Neither Marian nor Frances received 
this reproof with temper. The former, 
by the warmth with which she dis- 
claimed all wish of knowing any thing 
about a thing which could not concern 
her, evinced her real disappointment; 
while Frances, unused to reproof, and 
vexed with herself, took a path usual 
with the erring, and threw all the 
blame upon those around her. 

If she admitted that Marian had led 
her into the adoption of manners and 
language new to her, she yet thought 
they were hardly used : every body 
seemed determined to tease ; no one 
could bear to be constantly thwarted. 
Even her papa, who was always leni- 
ent to her, had spoken crossly. * 



79 

What could poor Frances do : she 
scarcely knew what ; but, while she 
endeavoured to hide the rising tear 
which she thought would betray weak- 
ness, her countenance became gloomy, 
if not repulsive. 

Thus passed Marian Wilton's last 
evening in London; that evening which, 
by procuring for Frances a greater por- 
tion of liberty than she usually enjoy- 
ed, was to have been eminently happy. 

We will pass over the departure of 
the travellers ; and simply state, that the 
unbridled feel ings of Marian greatly de- 
pressed her sister. Mrs. Wilton, though 
evidently distressed at the separation, 
still clung to her former assertion, that 
" Caroline did not contend against her 
little maladies, or she would have been 
able to join them." The poor girl sub- 
mitted in silence ; her heart was too 
full for utterance. She watched the 
carriage with anxious eyes until it 
turned into Cavendish-square. A flood 
of tears came to her relief ; and, yield- 
ing to the arm of Miss Colville, she 
1 



80 

threw herself on- a sofa, and for some 
minutes indulged her grief. 

Mr. Austen announced his intention 
of walking with Frances; thus consider- 
ately leaving the young sufferer to ac- 
quire composure. 

Miss Colville did not break in upon 
her sorrow, but in silence awaited that 
calm which generally succeeds all strong 
emotions. 

The parting words of her mother had 
made a deep impression on Caroline : 
she believed she had erred in resisting 
the wishes of her parent; and, with the 
irresolution of debility,, she at one mo- 
ment wished she had accompanied her 
mother, and in the next expressed her 
dread of exertion generally. 

11 1 will not permit you to dwell on 
your mother's observation," said Miss 
Colville; lt it was natural that she 
should desire your company in a party 
designed for your pleasure. Mrs. Wil- 
ton, however, was aware that Dr. W; 
advised your deferring it till the spring !'* 

"Till the spring!" said Caroline, 
mournfully. 



81 



" Yes," returned Miss Colville ; "till 
that period all your friends unite in think- 
ing it would be injurious to expose you to 
fatigue ; and pray remember, my dear, 
that Mr. Austen lias undertaken to con- 
vey you to France himself, whenever Dr. 
W. gives him permission." 

"Dr. W. may deceive my friends, but 
he cannot deceive me," said Caroline. 

" He would not deceive any one," re- 
turned Miss Colville; "he is a man of 
principle. But, have you forgotten that 
I am agent or deputy for the Doctor," 
added Miss Colville, smiling; "and, 
like all subordinates, I think myself of 
the profession from the moment I am 
permitted to assist, however humbly ! 
So, by way of a beginning, allow me to 
inquire if you have adhered to what was 
recommended for you some time sipce 
flannel under-clothing?" 

Caroline with deep confusion ac- 
knowledged she had found it uncomfort- 
able ; and, with the assistance of Foster, 
had destroyed the articles provided for 
her. 

Greatly as this fact disappointed Miss 



Colville, she forbore all observation, 
being tenacious of exciting any alarm in 
the thoughtless sufferer. With active' 
zeal she instantly dispatched a servant 
for some flannel ; and, upon its arrival, 
employed Caroline in preparing it for 
immediate use. Whatever reluctance the 
invalid felt, she was too well persuaded 
of the kindness of her friend to resist her 
advice. 

This point gained, and Caroline some- 
what relieved in spirits, Miss Colville 
produced some* letters, and prefacing 
" that she believed no apology was neces- 
sary," read a portion from each. They 
were from Lady Jane. " In one, she la- 
mented the indisposition of Miss Wilton, 
sympathizing in the disappointment she 
must feel in relinquishing the travelling 
plan." In a second, "she hoped, if her 
library contained any thing that could 
amuse Miss Wilton, Miss Colville would 
command it." In a third, it was asked 
" if Miss Wilton would object to seeing 
her: she knew there was a state of the 
feelings w hich made company irksome ; 
but, if Miss Wilton had escaped this 



83 

English malady, she "would promise to 
bring nothing but smiles into her pre- 
sence." 

"How amiable, what a liberal-mind- 
ed girl !" said Caroline, bursting into an 
agony of tears. " Indeed I could not 
meet her; I think it will be impossible 
ever to see her again." 

''This is your first view of the subject, 
my dear," said Miss Colville; " you will 
think differently I am persuaded. Shall 
I say you would like to have a list of 
Lady Jane's books? They might enter- 
tain }ou, though their owner is not per- 
mitted to do so. 

" You do not know what I feel at this 
moment," returned Caroline ; "I should 
i be too happy to see, to know Lady Jane; 
but forgive me, my dear Miss Colville, I 
must believe I am more indebted to her 
compassion than her esteem ! How is 
it possible she should feel any interest for 
one who has often, yes, very often, 
treated her with great rudeness." 

"I will speak to you with freedom," 
returned Miss Colville. "I cannot 
deny that on more than one occasion 



84 

Lady Jane was deeply wounded by the 
scrutinizing and very arrogant manners 
of your sister. Nay, I once saw her 
so much distressed, as to be reduced to 
shed tears in consequence. This occur- 
red upon her meeting you at Mrs. Mus- 
grave's; you will recollect the circum- 
stance. I had too much regard for my 
charge to trace your conduct to its 
source in her presence. Thus, though 
convinced she was an object of envy to 
those who had given her pain, I willingly 
attributed all to want of sense, and a to- 
tal disregard of those habits which distin- 
guish the truly well-bred. \ et, even at 
that period, she did you justice, and in- 
sisted that Marian alone was in fault.'' 

"That day I shall ever remember," 
said Caroline, sighing : ~" Marian cer- 
tainly behaved very ill. I did not take 
any part in the attack upon Lady Jane, it 
is true ; but, when I found every body 
was against Marian, I foolishly defended 
her because she was my sister. Mamma 
has often wondered at the coolness of 
Mrs. Musgrave, who has scarcely visited 



85 

at Mount Wilton since. Marian en- 
treated me to say nothing about it ; and 
I, in consequence, have been silent." 

" Which is to be regretted," said 
Miss Colville; " but you will no longer 
wonder at my seconding the wishes of 

Lord , and as much as was in my 

power preventing Lady Jane from being 
exposed to a repetition of such un- 
kindness." 

"It was quite right, quite proper," 
said the subdued Caroline ; "and I hope 
you will allow that I could not with 
propriety accept the offered friendship 
of Lady Jane." 

" On the contrary, my dear Miss Wil- 
ton," returned Miss Colville, "justice, 
principle, nay morality, demands that 
you should not only accept, but meet the 
wishes of Lady Jane Milner; whatever 
humiliation you may feel in such an ef- 
fort, recollect that she can have no con- 
ception of it ; thus your pride, if you 
allow it to have place here, can in no 
way be wounded. Lady Jane has given 
you credit for good feelings; she has 

VOL. II. I 



86 

heard you arc unwell, and hastens to as- 
sure you of her respect. Then, believe 
me, it is your place to prove her right. 
Suffer no false pride to deprive you of 
an association which, I am persuaded, 
will tend greatly to your advantage. 
You cannot know, without loving Lady 
Jane; nor can you live on terms of inti- 
macy with her, without discovering that 
an accomplished mind capacitates its pos- 
sessor to bean useful as well as an enter- 
taining companion." 

Caroline promised to reflect upon the 
proposal of Lady Jane ; and, on the re- 
turn of Mr. Austen, Miss Colville retired 
with her pupil. 

The zeal with which Frances pursued 
her accustomed studies, the anxiety she 
displayed to occupy her time so as to 
prevent all reference to the preceding 
evening, did not escape the penetration 
of her friend. The clay passed on 
smoothly ; she deserved, and attained the 
approbation of her instructress. 

Frances felt somewhat self-assured, 
yet her mind was not quite at ease ; there 
4 



87 



was a weight on her spirits : that confi- 
dence she now found it impossible to 
withhold from Miss Colville, made every 
thing valueless in which she did not sfiare. 
She had indeed no new matter to im- 
part, except her own view of the last day 
might be considered of importance. 
How to broach the subject she knew not. 
Miss Colville was writing. Frances un- 
locked her desk, and busied herself in 
arranging her papers. The account- 
book attracted her eye : she opened it ; 
and, seizing her pen, began to write. She 
was soon so intently engaged in calcula- 
tions, as to be unmindful of every thing 
but her employment. She added and 
carried, became puzzled, spread the con- 
tents of her purse upon the table, was 
sure she must be wrong, again added 
and subtracted ; and at last concluded 
by declaring she had "lost a one-pound 
note." 

Miss Colville was silent. Frances 

resumed her task, but seemed to gain no 

light from her application. At last, she 

begged Miss Colville would look at her 

i 2 



88 

book, and see if she had made any mis- 
take in her arithmetic. 

"I hope not," said Miss Colville, as 
she received this memorial of her pupil's 
ostentation; "for, to fail in calculations 
so simple, but so necessary to your future 
character as a principled woman, would 
greatly disappoint me." 

"If I am right in this page," said 
Frances timidly; " I have certainly lost 
one-pound." 

"Your calculation is perfectly cor- 
rect," returned Miss Colville, giving the 
book. " I suppose you have omitted to 
insert some of your purchases. " 

Frances was quite sure she had put 
down every thing ; and, as she made 
this assertion, her recollection seemed to 
revive. " O no !" she exclaimed ; " there 
is the puzzle ; but that is only seven-and- 
sixpence ! Dear me, now I remember 
I gave two shillings to the street-band the 
other day, to the woman who sang the 
French air that you admire !" This was 
addressed to Miss Colville. 

"I recollect the circumstance," said 



89 

Miss Colville ; "and I think I pointed 
out the uselessness of your giving any 
thing at that time, as your cousin threw 
them half-a-crown." 

"I wish I had taken your advice," 
said Frances with a sigh ; "it was indeed 
useless, hut Marian said I was afraid to 
give away my money." 

"So you threw it away," continued 
Miss Colville ; "in order to shew Miss 
Marian how little you valued money?" 

"I shall he quite poor till my next 
quarter comes round," said Frances; 
"I declare I have only half-a-guinea; and 
jt will be six weeks before I get my al- 
lowance. 5 ' 

Miss Colville looked up. 

"Do you think the woman at the 
Bazaar would take back the puzzle and 
the little case, if I promised to lay out my 
money with her in future ?" asked 
Frances, in some confusion. 

"Such an idea would never have sug- 
gested itself to a girl who thought justly," 
replied Miss Colville. "It is true, you 
cannot understand the nature of trade 
l 3 



so 

accurately, but you must know people 
do not keep shops for pleasure. They 
provide goods for their customers ; but, 
though obliged to bear with their caprices 
and irresolution, they are at liberty to re- 
ject a proposition like that you have men- 
tioned. Nor can I believe you would 
really like to do as you say. With what 
face could you make such a request, or 
offer terms so degrading ? No, Frances ! 
you have acted without thought, and 
must bear the consequences of your 
folly. Indeed, I should pity the Bazaar- 
woman if she had acceded to your accom- 
odation ; for your promises are not to 
be relied upon." 

"You mean what I said to Betty 
about her mother's rent," said Frances, 
sobbing; "it is that I am thinking of: 
Betty will think me so mean, I shall be 
ashamed to see her." 

" Your view of this subject is errone- 
ous," returned Miss Colville ; "Betty 
may, and will be, disappointed; but she 
will consider you thoughtless, and per- 
haps wonder that you could forget a 



91 - 

matter of such feeling importance to 
herself. I, who know you better, must 
lament that }^ou have thrown away a sum 
in frivolous and ostentatious purchases, 
which, if judiciously managed, would 
have afforded you the pleasure of per- 
forming an act of liberality." 

u And I might have subscribed to 
Mrs. Vaughan's charity besides, if I 
had only bought what I really wanted," 
said Frances, sighing. " How I wish I 
had not gone to the Bazaar." 

44 It is not the going to the Bazaar, but 
that want of firmness which makes you 
unable to resist doing as others do, that 
you should regret," returned Miss Col- 
ville. " Do you imagine that I was in- 
sensible to the utility of Mrs. Vaughan's 
excellent institution because I did not 
lay down my subscription? Such was 
not the case. In me such an act 
would have been unjust as well as os- 
tentatious, for I have private claims to 
adjust, which will not permit of my al- 
ways following the impulse oi my 
feelings. " 



92 

"I certainly will be more careful in 
future," said Frances, in a sorrowful 
tone; "I hope Mrs. Vaughan will not 
think me selfish, or niggardly ; do you 
think she will?" 

" Mrs. Vaughan, I fear, saw you 
under great disadvantages last night, 
Frances," returned Miss Colville ; 
"you know to what I allude ; but I trust 
you have felt the mistakes into which 
that eveningof liberty led you." Frances, 
blushing, avowed her papa had pointed 
out the impropriety of her behaviour du- 
ring their walk. "I hoped as much,' 1 
continued Miss Colville. " Now let 
me set you right in another particular. 
You appear very tenacious of what peo- 
ple will say or think of you : this is lau- 
dable to a certain extent; for instance, 
our manners and personal habits must be 
regulated by the rules prescribed to our 
station in life. These things fail under 
the public eye; and every person will 
make their comments upon them. But 
there are a thousand actions in the life 
pf women in particular, which are valu- 



able in proportion as they are retired. 
The idea of a female seeking applause, 
courting popularity, is repugnant to the 
character which should belong to her 
sex. You fear your servant thinks you 
mean ; she, happily, as unacquainted 
with appropriate terms as yourself, will 
call you thoughtless ; while I, who knew 
how far you pledged yourself to serve 
Betty's mother, might, if indisposed to 
view your conduct leniently, call this de- 
fection a want of principle. That I do 
not do so, proceeds from my thorough 
knowledge of your disposition; yet I 
confess it will require some effort on 
your part to convince me that this un- 
fortunate want of firmness is not a part 
of your character, and beyond my power 
to correct." 

Frances would have promised all and 
every thing that a subsued spirit at 
the moment of conviction is so ready 
to admit. Miss Colville checked her. 
" Your desire to meet the wishes of those 
who love you," she observed, "will be 
best seen in your conduct, my dear. 



94 

I know not the temptations to which you 
may be exposed : plaid handkerchiefs 
and Chinese puzzles, are very formi- 
dable things to some young ladies." 
Miss Colville smiled. 

" Indeed 1 never should have thought 
of the handkerchief," returned Frances, 
" if Betty had not said she liked them so 
much ; and I asked her \vhy she did not 
buy one, and she said she could not 
afford it." 

" The action was good-natured, 
Frances," said Miss Colville ; "no one 
can doubt your intention in the pur- 
chase. But, reflect for a moment : was 
it either necessary to Betty's appear- 
ance, or conducive to her happiness, 
that she should possess such a thing? 
I think not; and you must be convinced 
that four shillings would have been 
something towards the one-pound you 
promised to her mother. Nor can I 
omit observing, that you act contrary to 
my wishes in being familiar with the ser- 
vants; civility, kindness, and any aid you 
can give to tuch of them a? require as- 



95 

Distance, these are your duties ; but, in 
entering into their plans, or encouraging 
their desire for dress, you do them a 
serious injury, and yourself no service. 
Perhaps this is of all popularity the 
most objectionable : their good opinion 
is easily attained ; but it does not neces- 
sarily follow, that their applause is 
founded upon principles that can exalt 
you with more judicious observers of 
your actions. I would not depreciate 
a class of persons so justly entitled to 
our sympathy and consideration, in all 
that is connected with their personal 
comforts and moral improvement ; but 
I repeat, we may fulfil our duties to- 
wards them without familiarity ; and, 
in most cases, I have observed that, 
where servants are treated with a cer- 
itain respect, they are uniformly more 
correct in their duties, and more last- 
ingly attached to their employers." 

Frances settled her desk ; and was 
replacing her almost empty purse in 
the drawer, When Miss Col vi lie asked 
' ' \vhatsum was wan ting to niake up the 



96 

promised one-pound note?" "Nine- 
and-sixpence," was the reply. "I 
will accommodate you with the silver," 
said Miss Colville ; "I cannot bear 
the idea of the poor woman's being 
disappointed, nor should I like to have 
your want of stability made the sub- 
ject of animadversion. In future, my 
dear girl, avoid all promises of this na- 
ture ; for, unless you feel confident 
in yourself, and are steadily deter- 
mined to perform what you promise, 
you will place your character in a very 
unfavourable light; and people will 
disregard your word, even where your 
means seconds your inclination to be 
punctual." 

The evening brought its relaxation. 
Grateful to Miss Colvilie for the ar- 
rangement she had made respecting 
Betty's mother, Frances accompanied 
her governess to the drawing-room 
with a light heart. Mrs. Percival had 
dined with Mr. Austen ; and was, on 
their en trance, in earnest conversation 
with Miss Wilton. 



97 

Miss Colville was sorry to interrupt 
them ; and, drawing her pupil on one 
side, engaged her attention to some 
patterns she wished her to copy. 

A few minutes brought the gentle- 
men ; and Mrs. Percival soon found an 
opportunity of speaking to Miss Col- 
ville. She expressed her pleasure at 
rinding the young invalid so perfectly 
tractable and reasonable. " I fear she 
has but little confidence in her reco- 
very," added Mrs. Percival. "This 
it will be wise to counteract, so long 
as her complaint is not exactly defined, 
or while a truth so melancholy might 
confirm or accelerate its termination ; 
but I can never allow the necessity for 
deceiving an accountable creature 
when the event is certain, and the 
sufferer possesses the required fortitude 
to hear it. " 

Miss Colville coincided in this opi- 
nion, but rather feared the young lady 
was injured by considering her case 
hopeless. "Her mind," said Miss 
Colville, "is wholly bent on redeem- 

VOL. II, K 



93 

ing the time she has lost; she affects 
me sensibly by the truly pious tenor of 
her conversation ; and, while I gladly 
encourage dispositions so suited to her 
situation, I feel it indispensable (in her 
weak state) to trace her present spirit 
of inquiry to a desire of knowledge 
rather than the effect of disease." 

"This is wise, my dear Miss Col- 
ville," said Mrs. Percival; "if it please 
God to restore this young girl, you 
are assisting her to enjoy the future as 
a rational being; and, if it is the will 
of Heaven that she be called hence, 
you are fitting her for the joys of a 
higher state of existence." 

In such hands Caroline Wilton 
found all that could sooth her bodily 
ailments, while her ardent and tww 
aspiring mind met every consolation 
that zeal and affection could bestow. 
Miss Colville became so deeply inter- 
ested in her welfare, and so sedulously 
attentive to her ease and comfort, that 
Caroline knew no happiness when she 
was absent. A sleeping-room conti- 



99 

guous to the invalid was fitted-up for 
Miss Colville; and, as Caroline received 
the draught from her hand, or unex- 
pectedly met her features bent on her 
as she awoke from her slumbers, she 
would break into expressions of the 
liveliest gratitude, not unmixed with 
self- recriminations. 

" It is my interest to take care of 
the young," Miss Colville would say; 
"for I look forward, and expect to 
claim their services when I can no 
longer assist myself." 

Caroline no longer resisted the over- 
tures of Lady Jane. To the surprise 
of Miss Colville and Frances, they 
found her ladyship sitting with the in- 
valid one morning when they came in 
from their walk. 

" Miss Wilton was so good as to ad- 
mit me," said Lady Jane, as she arose 
to meet her attached friend. " I have 
been telling her what an admirable 
nurse you are. I really think her at- 
tack is very similar to the one I had 
three years since." 

K 2 



- .' ioo 

Miss Colville saw at once the motive : 
that dictated this observation, and as- 
sented to it. Caroline appeared in- 
terested in this avowal, and spoke more, 
unreservedly of her symptoms than 
heretofore. Her .ladyship listened ; 
and, with a cheerfulness highly con- 
soling, beguiled the desponding girl 
into something like hope. 

" What can you do," she inquired, 
"by way of amusement? You must 
not draw, nor write, the position is bad ; 
and reading will not do all day ! Do 
you like work, Miss Wilton? /found 
it a great resource during a tedious ill- 
ness." 

Caroline declared "she never had em- 
ployed herself sufficiently in work to say 
whether she liked it or not." 

"That is unfortunate," returned 
Lady Jane; "I recommend your trying 
it ; it will amuse you occasionally ; and 
from its very novelty be pleasing for a 
time. Miss Colville can vouch that I 
found idleness the worst of my restraints ; 



101 



but my eyes were weak, and I was for- 
bidden every thing that could try them.*' 

" Mr. Austen is so good as to read to 
me for an hour every morning," said 
Caroline; "and I read a good deal my- 
self: but I will certainly try a little work. 
I think I should like the knitting I 
saw Miss Colville doing one evening. 
Pray, what were you making? I re- 
solved to ask you, but forgot it till this 
moment." 

"A baby's shoes," replied Miss Col- 
ville; " I will teach you with great plea- 
sure ; it is light and quick work. I have 
six pair ready," continued Miss Gol- 
ville, addressing Lady Jane. "Shall I 
order them to be put into the carriage r" 
"I will take them in my hand," replied 
her ladyship ; "my aunt is to call for me 
in her way back, so you will be troubled 
with me a little longer." 

Caroline expressed her pleasure at 
the visit being lengthened. Frances, in 
a half-whisper to her governess, hoped 
Mrs. Mercer would not come for an 
hour at least, Miss Colville smiled at 

K3 



102 

the warmth of her pupil, but declared 
she had nothing to say in opposition to 
her wish. 

While they were thus engaged in so- 
cial conversation, Mr. Austen's footstep 
was heard. "Papa will be so glad to 
see Lady Jane !" said Frances, jumping 
up and opening the door. She drew 
back, and, curtsying as she held the door, 
Mr. Austen entered, followed by Mrs. 
Cox. 

"My cousin has used me very ill," 
said that lady; "but that would be no 
excuse for my being unnatural to her 
child. Ah ! dear Miss Carry, how are 
you, love ? She looks but puny ! How- 
ever, you are in good hands, my dear ; 
and when the spring comes you shall 
come to me. I have a comfortable cot- 
tage, and it is a fine pure air. Do you 
know Hampstead, ma'am ?" addressing 
Lady Jane. Lady Jane replied in the 
affirmative. " Well then," Mrs. Cox con- 
tinued, " I need not say any thing about 
it, for every body allows it is the most 
purest air in the world." 



103 

Lady Jane "thought it a beautiful spot; 
but had heard of many persons who had 
found the air of Hampstead too keen." 

Mrs. Cox defended her favourite re- 
tirement with much eloquence : her lady- 
ship attended to her observations with po- 
liteness. Caroline and Frances looked 
in vain for that contempt which they were 
persuaded Lady Jane must feel for such a 
person ; and that smile, which each might 
have been ready to accord had they met 
encouragement, subsided into calm ob- 
servation. 

Caroline only simply observed, "that 
if she was well enough, she was to follow 
her mamma." 

" I believe one-half the world is mad/' 
said Mrs. Cox. "What has old Eng- 
land done, that people are so glad to run 
away from it ; spending their money 
among strangers, when so many of their 
own countrymen are starving." 

Mr. Austen indulged her just spleen 
on this subject; and, greatly to the an- 
noyance of Caroline, protracted her vi- 
sit, which she had constantly asserted 



104 

must be short, until this topic was 
started. At length, after the warmest 
expressions of regard, Mrs. Cox took 
leave. 

Caroline felt relieved; yet she was at a 
loss whether to apologize for the man- 
ners of their late visitor, or to get over 
the thing altogether, by directing the at- 
tention of Lady Jane to something new. 
Even Frances shared this weakness with 
her cousin, and would have been pleased, 
had some opening been made which 
could have placed Mrs. Cox's consan- 
guinity to the Wilton family in a distinct 
point of view. 

"You look grave, Caroline," said 
Mr. Austen; "this is ungrateful to the 
kind Mrs. Cox ; she carries, in her cor- 
dial manner and open countenance, an 
antidote to gravity." 

" You must be jesting, sir," returned 
Caroline, smiling; "Mrs. Cox is one of 
the coarsest persons altogether ; indeed, 
she is quite a fright." 

" CXno, : ' said Lady Jane ; " the lady 
has a very fine countenance, I am u. 



real admirer of an open countenance ; 

nd really I had noticed hers before Mr. 
Austen mentioned it." 

Caroline looked incredulous ; and 

Frances could not disguise her mirth at 

he idea of Mrs. Cox's fine countenance. 
Mr. Austen laughed at both of them, 

nd declared, " the unpopularity of Mrs. 
Cox had nothing to do with her person. 
Though large and ungraceful, it was in 
many points handsome. Of her polish 
I cannot speak so favourably," he con- 
tinued ; "she is ill-bred, and conse- 
quently too familiar in her language. 
Thus I would "not recommend her ora- 
tory as worthy of imitation ; but I care 
not how soon I see her kinswoman Ca- 
roline and my pale-faced Frances with 
cheeks as indicative of health as our 
Hampstead friend." 

The pale cheek of Caroline was flushed 
even to crimson at this distinct reference 
to her relationship with so vulgar a per- 
sonage. Miss Colville saw this false 
pride in her young convert with regret. 
She was too wise to expect that the dili- 



106 

gence of a few weeks could eradicate! 
foibles that had been years acquiring 
strength in the mind of Caroline Wilton. 
With a good-humoured smile she ob- 
served, "that it was fortunate we were 
not involved in the personal omissions 
or inelegancies of our connexions ; for, 
so few of us possess individual self-com- 
mand, or are entirely acquainted with 
our own defects, it would be dangerous, 
were such power placed in our hands.'* 

Caroline felt she had erred; and, ex- 
tending her hand to Miss Colville, ex- 
claimed, "This is one of your lessons in 
disguise : I stand convicted." Miss Col- 
ville took the offered hand ; and, as she 
pressed it kindly, added in a whisper, 
" Ever dismiss pride with this candour, 
and you will soon free yourself from a 
cruel enemy." 

Mr. Austen looked his delight at this 
striking proof of self-amendment. 

"Did Miss Colville ever give you les- 
sons of this description?'' asked Caro- 
line, addressing Lady Jane ; "but, why 
do 1 ask, you never required them !" 



107 

"I beg your pardon, my dear Miss 
IVilton," returned Lady Jane; "you 
\no\v not half my obligations to Miss 
'Jolville ; if you never heard of me as a 
polled little girl, full of fancies, and re- 
quiring the constant check of a firm 
udicious friend." 

Frances was evidently surprised by 
his acknowledgment. Miss Corville un- 
derstood her disposition; and, to prevent 
that triumph which girls of a lively cha- 
racter so gladly seize when they think 
they have discovered that which brings 
others on a level with themselves, said, 
" But, pray take into consideration the 
age of this wilful little being." Lady 
Jane was in her fifth year when I took 
charge of her. She was then the pet of 
a fond but illiterate nurse, who, like 
most persons in her station, was, by 
turns, the tyrant and the slave of the 
infant she pretended to gui.de." 

"My recollections of that period are 
lively as possible," said Lady Jane; 
"and I am well assured that infancy, 



108 

with all its ascribed innocence, is full of 
glaring and dangerous faults." 

" I am almost incredulous," said Mr. 
Austen, smiling; " there are some cha- 
racters which, like particular plants, dis- 
play in their maturity that better fruit 
which sufficiently attests the native su- 
periority of the soil." 

Lady Jane smiled at this compliment ; 
and, as she arose to take leave, said, 
"But you overlook the prunings, sir, 
and all the nameless little excrescences 
that will cling to the human scion, and 
which constantly require the skilful and 
improving hand of a friend." 

Mr. Austen attended her ladyship to 
her carriage; and, upon his return, found 
his daughter and Caroline speaking in 
enthusiastic terms of their late visitor. 
Frances declared "she looked quite 
handsome." Caroline thought "she 
was so animated, that, though not strictly 
pretty, she surpassed many who were 
handsome." 

"Just so," said Mr. Austen ; "there 
is a sweetness in her manner, and a li- 



10.9 

berality in all she says, so strikingly il- 
lustrative of the benevolence of her 
heart, that I never saw a young person 
so uell calculated to interest one in her 
welfare. Even for poor Mrs. Cox," Mr, 
Austen added, smiling, "Lady Jane 
could offer an opinion not more remark- 
able for its discernment than its kind- 
ness." 

" I cannot agree with her," said Caro- 
line, smiling; "no, that woman really 
fills me with disgust; she is so coarse 
and free/' 

"Indeed, papa, she is a very dis- 
agreeable woman," said Frances; "re- 
ally I wonder Lady Jane could admire 
her countenance, " 

"Indeed! this is your opinion," re- 
turned her father, laughing; "and it is 
a. most wise one, considering how compe- 
tent you are to judge, and ho\y much 
you know of her." 

"With all this," observed Miss Col- 
ville, "I can assure you Lady Jane 
thought as she said. She has often 
made me smile at the facility with which 

VOL. II. L 



110 

she discovered the beauty' of the pea- 
santry at , A profile, nay, a sin- 
gle feature, has caught her eye, when I 
had scarcely seen the party. And my 
dear Miss Wilton, as I have unavoid- 
ably been present at the time of Mrs. 
Cox's visits, I may be allowed to add, 
that the predicament which has caused 
you some little vexation, is not peculiar 
to you, nor of a character to have any 
weight with you. 1 could instance a si- 
tuation infinitely less bearable, to which 
Lady Jane is frequently exposed. I 
allude to a distant connexion of Lord 

, who, though born to the rank 

and filling th'e station of a gentleman, 
has so completely lost sight of those de- 
licacies in his habits which are usually 
iound in that class of society, that it re- 
ally requires much self-command to look 
on unconcernedly. Yet she does this; 
and, with a seeming deference to the 
party, spares him from the observations 
of others where she can; and where she 
cannot, as often is the case, she checks 



Ill 

the laugh h\s.grossievete has occasioned, 
and places all to the account of his age." 

" She is an admirable young crea- 
ture," said Mr. Austen; "you perceive, 
Frances, that all parts of Lady Jano's. 
character agree ; it is not by one act 
alone that she engages our esteem." 

"Oh no, papa," observed Frances; 
" no man who performs one virtuous 
action alone, however praiseworthy or 
excellent the motive, is entitled to the 
appellation of virtuous!" 

Mr. Austen started : his eyes beamed 
with pleasure. "My dear girl," ex- 
claimed he ; and he drew the delighted 
Frances to his side; "now tell me," he 
continued, "what does constitute the 
character of virtue, since you have so 
well defined what does not." 

Frances added, " the character must 
be formed by a series of actions, all of 
the same kind, and proceeding from, vir- 
tuous affections." 

" Charming ! excellent !" exclaimed 
the transported father; and, turning tp 
L 2 



Miss Colville, he added, "Are you not 
astonished?" 

"I think Lady Jane gave her autho- 
rity in the page from which you copied 
that extract,'" said Miss Colville, ad- 
dressing Frances. 

" I do not recollect it/' was the reply. 

""It is from Dunbar's Sketch of 
Greece," continued Miss Colville; 
"where this opinion of Aristotle is 
contrasted with that of Plato, who thought 
that just sentiments and reasonable judg* 
ments were sufficient to the most perfect 
virtue. Your application of these ob- 
servations should have been prefaced 
by saying that you had written some 
sentences that agreed with what your 
papa said. A retentive memory, though 
a valuable gift, requires much vigilance 
in its possessor ; our accuracy must be 
carried into the minute as well as the 
general parts of our subject, or the ima- 
gination will run riot." 

"Bear this in mind, Frances," said 
Mr. Austen, somewhat convinced by 
this exposition of the governess. " Yes, 



113 

this is absolutely requisite, my child ; or, 
as Miss Colville ohserves, your ideas 
will hecorae confused. I hope she con- 
tinues the practice of transcribing ex- 
tracts of this description ;" continued 
Mr. Austen, addressing Miss Colville. 

"Not at present, sir," replied Miss 
Colville; "your daughter's memory is, 
generally speaking, clear and retentive ; 
but, having more than once found her 
deficient in her references to authors, I 
felt it proper to lay my plan aside, until 
she thoroughly comprehended rny motive 
in its adoption. It is not so much to 
make her ready with quotations, as to 
teach her that virtue has at all times 
been valued and desired; though the 
ideas of those who pursued it have been 
variously expressed, according to the 
periods in which they lived." 

Mr. Austen saw that a reproof was 
couched under this explanation. Frances 
.felt all its force; but sought, in the 
cquntenance of her father, some inti- 
mation of his sentiments. She almost 
hoped (such is human vanity !) to find 
L 3 



114 

him lean to her side of the question ; and 
we fear, had she been put to the test, 
greatly as she valued Miss Colville, she 
would have thought her right application 
of a selected extract must have com- 
pensated for its anonymous introduction. 
Happily her father had reviewed the 
subject, and now unhesitatingly avowed 
his- conviction that Miss Colville was 
right. This coincidence did more to- 
wards the correction of Miss Austen's 
Vanity than a thousand private lectures 
could have effected ; for, though Caro- 
line Wilton took no part in the conver- 
sation, or by her manner ^evinced that 
she entered into the merits of the case, 
she on a subsequent day admonished 
Frances to attend and profit by all that 
"was doing for her, and pointed out the 
advantage she possessed in a friend, al- 
ways at hand to direct and lead her to 
happiness. Frances was transiently 
wounded. Advice from one whose neg- 
lected education she had heard her la- 
ther seriously regret, seemed out of 
place. Caroline soon banished this fro- 



115 

ward feeling; and, as she lamented the 
very different system upon which Marian 
and herself had heen reared, and with 
tearful eyes declared she hourly re- 
gretted the time she had lost in frivolous 
pursuits, Frances became not only pas- 
sive, hut. ready to allow that Caroline 
was one of the sweetest girls in the 
world. 

Among other disadvantages connected 
with the condition of an only child, is 
the absence of that emulation, that, con* 
trasting the powers and diligence of the 
pupil, which, if judiciously introduced, 
does so much towards rousing the fa- 
culties of the mind. Emulation, it is 
allowed, may degenerate into envy, in 
the same way that valour may acquire a 
character of ferocity. It is the excess 
in either case which produces the evil. 
No person ever fell into vice by pur- 
suing virtue; it is by diverging from the 
right line, mistaking the barrier between 
right and wrong, that the heedless tra- 
veller in life's devious path too often 
finds himself benighted. 



116 

When it is considered how readily 
the ear receives and accredits praise, 
haw flat and insipid all qualified appro- 
bation appears to those who have been 
accustomed to the language of adula- 
tion, the folly of the practice must be 
obvious. Yet how current is this poi- 
son ! An only child, is a mark at which 
grown folly levels its barbed shafts. 
"The wonderful intellect," "astonishing 
capacity," "numberless accomplishments 
of an infant," will fill an assembly of 
kind friends with admiration. Cruel, 
and not more cruel than insincere, is this 
description of fraud. Is it not cruel to 
deceive any one ? and therefore criminal 
to impose upon the ignorant? Can 
childhood conscientiously claim distinc- 
tions which tried principles and long 
experience seldom attain? Human in- 
tellect may pause ; it may languish al- 
together; as is too often the case, where 
any remarkable precosity of understand- 
ing has been displayed ; but human va- 
nity makes few retrograde movements, 
and rarely any, until the world has 



117 

fcfr to unlearn itself. Then corned 
reflection ; and the pampered infant 
must, in his after-age, learn to think as 
"a child," carry himself "lowly," and 
acknowledge he "knows nothing." 

This state, (which, after all, is the pre- 
scribed condition of mortality,) would 
be the point to which our ambition 
would aspire, were the footsteps of in* 
fancy trained in the way it should go. 

Frances Austen had tasted sparingly 
of praise, it is true; yet Miss Colviile 
had found much difficulty in reconciling 
her to calm, sober approbation. Still, 
as has been seen, the least opening was 
seized with avidity, and would have pro- 
duced the usual effects, had not Mr. 
Austen seconded the views of the zea- 
lous governess. Guarded by the recent 
illustration of his daughter's vanity, he 
now grew cautious in his praises, scarcely 
ever rising above that just commendation 
which stimulates to exertion without de- 
stroying the most attractive charm of 
youth modesty. This essential point 
gained, Miss Colviile proceeded with 



her work; and most truly mw it bg 
called an arduous one, when we con- 
template the moral duties, the high 
calling, and tinal destination of a crea- 
ture formed for immortality. 

When Caroline with unaffected hu- 
mility avowed that her earlier religious 
instruction had not made any lasting im- 
pression on her mind ; when she acknow- 
ledged that habits of piety and serious 
reading, had appeared to her as more 
especially suited to persons advanced in 
life than the young; Miss Colville would 
gently encourage the discussion : and sel- 
dom did they part without the young 
inquirer feeling comforted, and her 
principles confirmed. 

Frances was necessarily present upon 
occasions in which this subject was re- 
sumed, and the benefit she derived from 
it was great. Mr. Austen took much 
interest in explaining and pointing ou.t 
the insufficiency of all those systems 
taught in the schools of the ancients; 
and defined, with that accuracy which a 
knowledge of the classics gives to the 



119 

other Sdx, the false morality they pro- 
duced. 

"1 have always considered the an- 
cients learned and ingenious," said 
Frances one evening; "but I really think 
j'they were to be pitied ; it must have 
ibeen dreadful for them to be ignorant 
of the true religion of Christ." 

"To the learning and sublime genius 
of the ancients we are all debtors," re- 
turned her father. "It is remarkable, 
however, that while nations differed 
in their ideas of a Deity, at no time 
has God left himself without witness 
among mankind ; but that, in every age 
and country, the great One Cause has 
been worshipped, though ignorantly, 
amidst all the mysterious rites and bar- 
barous superstitions of heathenism. I 
might quote the opinions of various sects ; 
but 1 will confine myself, and only ob- 
serve, that when Omnesicritus, the Cy- 
nic philosopher, was sent by Alexander 
the Great, (whom he accompanied into 
Asia,) to obtain information respecting 
the manners, lives, and doctrines of the 



120 

Brahman philosophers, Calanus, a 
Brahman, instructed him in the follow- 
ing principles of their religion : That 
former!)' plenty reigned over all nature; 
that milk, wine, honey, and oil, flowed 
from fountains ; hut that men, having 
made an ill use of this felicity, were de- 
prived of them hy the Deity, and con- 
demned to labour for their sustenance. 
A clerical friend," continued Mr. Aus- 
ten, "has made the following observa- 
tion on this subject: This belief that 
human nature is fallen from its original 
purity; that there is one supreme Go- 
vernor of the universe; that virtue will 
be rewarded in another state, and vice 
punished, has been transmitted from age 
to age, down to the present times, by a 
general tradition. It will be found to 
obtain equally among the Hindoos, the 
Chinese, the natives of Japan, and to 
influence the conduct of those hordes of 
savages who are spread over the vast 
plains of North and South America; 
and of those also who are distributed 
among the countless islands of the Pa- 



cific Ocean/* " But none of these people 
are as happy as we," said Frances; 
"they listened to different sects, and 
knew not which to believe." 

"The Son of God," returned Mr. 
Austen, " as you have read, brought 
peace into the world. By his atone- 
ment for sin, he opened the gates of i-na- 
mortality to all who live, breathe, and 
have being ; and, though there are mil- 
lions who yet remain strangers to the 
light of the Gospel, I fear we must not 
yet reckon too much upon the merits 
of those who have received the divine 
tlispensation. Our sense of the blessing 
conferred upon us, would be best at- 
tested by our lives being uniformly con- 
sistent with the rules and precepts of the 
Gospel. Yet this is not exactly our 
practice. " 

Caroline sighed ; and with a faltering 
voice observed, that " though she had 
attended to the forms of public worship, 
and read the Scriptures at different times, 
she was now fully aware she had never 
entered into the spirit of their import.' 7 

VOL. u. M 



Mr. Austen encouraged her by arg 
ments drawn from that divine source i 
Was now beginning to taste ; and added, 
"That, while the ignorancesand omissions 
of the young claimed our compassion, it 
was grievous to think how many, who 
could offer no such apology for their 
conduct, yet lived regardless of the reli- 
gion they professed. You, my Frances, 
pity the ancients; the feeling is consist- 
ent, if you justly estimate the happier 
light under which we live. But the real 
objects of pity, are those who, unmindful 5 
of the covenant they have made with the 
Omnipotent ruler of the universe, ab- 
solve themselves from the engagement,, 
while health and prosperity surround 
them, and yet would renew the contract, 
when the pleasures of this world lose 
their value. These are really pitiable 
objects!" 

" I remember a passage in Archbishop 
Tillotson's Works which treats this sub- 
ject admirably," said iVIiss Colville. 
Taking out her pocket-book, she referred 
to a memorandum, and bade Frances get 



133 

the volume. " It is on Early Piety, " re- 
sumed Miss Colville, " and it is found in 
the first volume, page 523." Frances 
was desired to read it : she obeyed. 
"As if Heaven were an hospital 
founded on purpose to receive all sick 
and maimed persons, that, when they can 
live no longer to the sinful pleasures of 
this world, they can but put up a cold 
and formal petition to be admitted there. 
Can any man in reason expect that such 
a petition will be granted '" 

Air. Austen extolled the extract, and 
recommended the volume to Caroline's 
notice. 

Frances whispered something to Miss 
Colville. " You are perfectly correct," 
was the return : it is the same Calanus." 

"What do you know of Calanus?" 
asked Mr. Austen, smiling. 

" He burned himself on a funeral 
pile, papa," replied Frances; "being 
liable to bear a painful disease. I 
think Alexander the Great endeavoured 
to dissuade him from it, but could not 
prevent him.'* 

-* 2 



124 

"This is well remembered, Frances," 
said her father; "I thought you had 
something to say by your looks. Have 
you not been meditating the introduction 
of this observation?" 

" Why, yes, papa," answered Frances; 
"I was thinking that what Calanus said 
of the religion of the Brahmans was so 
like the true history of the Bible, and I 
wondered such a man should yet commit 
suicide." 

"The word Brama is supposed to be 
derived from Abraham," said Mr. Aus- 
ten ; "and that, in a country where God 
gave his laws, some remnants of his wis- 
dom and power should remain, is not 
wonderful. But while this is reconciled 
by historic facts, it is equally certain that, 
in the course of time, the pure stream 
became polluted. Man opposed his 
theories; vanity led him to promulgate 
them ; and, while the real attributes of 
the Deity occasionally received due ho- 
nour, it was unknowingly. SeH-denial, 
and an insenbibility to all bodily pain, 
was peculiar to one sect of philosopher:* 



125 

Your friend Calanus seems an exception 
to this ; but it is questioned whether the 
desire of being celebrated in after-ages 
did not influence Calanus. Of a future 
slate they entertained confused ideas ; 
their lives were in numberless instances 
blameless. That right they assumed to 
themselves of terminating existence,when 
age, or their false notions of honour, 
Biade its duration insupportable, appears 
lo us criminal in the extreme. But the 
world was then in darkness, Frances ! 
The day-spring from on high had not 
visited the earth L From that period 
when God gave his only Son to be at 
once a propitiation and a sacrifice for 
sin, man became expressly accountable 
for his actions. He can no longer sin 
from ignorance, for the way of life is 
laid open to him ; and, if he err wilfully, 
he knows the liability to which he is ex- 
posed. You, my child, may at some 
future day have occasion to observe how 
rigidly mankind perform those engage- 
ments with their fellow-mortals which 
can increase their property or further 
M 3 



If6 

their ambition ! All difficulties 
trivial when opposed to these objects ; 
yet the issue of these things is always un- 
certain, and even success does not pro- 
duce content. Now reflect, Frances, 
and tell me if you have not entered into 
an engagement infinitely more serious 
than any the world can exact?" 

Frances hesilated. She looked to Mis> 
Colville; and at length said, "You allude 
to the Catechism, papa ; and that part, 
'a member of Christ, a child of God, 
and an inheritor of the kingdom of 
heaven." 1 

"I do," said Mr. Austen; "and can 
we really pretend to a character of in- 
tegrity or honesty, when these Christian 
obligations are forgotten ? They are 
offered for us in infancy, because those 
interested in our eternal welfare know 
all the importance of the engagement 
they make in our name: we take the re- 
sponsibility upon ourselves in riper years, 
for it is then believed. We must ujadly 
avail ourselves of promises so eminently 
merciful, For, is it not self-evident that 



127 

we, and we alone, are the benefited 
party? it mnst be, it is pleasing to the 
most high God, that his creatures do him 
'true and laudable service/ But yet \ve 
can neither exalt nor depress him who is 
all in all. He who knoweth our hearts, 
in 'whose hands are the issues of life 
*nd death;'' * who can at will remove us 
hence and no more he seen ;' he, with 
tenderness unexampled, exhorts us to 
turn from the 'evil of our ways,' to 
'come unto him, and we shall find rest !"'' 

Caroline, now as anxious to acknow- 
ledge her deficicnces as she had before 
been unwilling to admit them, inquired 
respecting the period in which Alexander 
the Great lived ? 

Mr. Austen referred to Frances; 
who, after a little reflection, replied, 
"Alexander died at Babylon. 323 years 
before Christ appeared." 

"I was thinking," said Caroline, 
"how long the Bible has been written." 

"The early books of the Old Testa- 
ment/' returned Mr. Austen, "were 
openly read three thousand years ago, 



and the latter above two thousand. The 
New Testament was written and made 
public m'ore than eighteen hundred 
years since. Now, my dear girls/' con- 
tinued Mr. Austen, "young as you 
are, you must have heard, (for it is the 
fashion of the day,) much of the value 
of old pictures, old china, and old books; 
every thing of this description is now 
estimated according to its antiquity; 
then, upon this principle, how should \vc 
value the Bible?" 

That the reading of the young re- 
quires direction, no one will deny ; nor 
is it too much to say, that females are now 
generally tolerably conversant with his- 
tory both ancient and modern. To 
cavil with the present times, has been the 
foible of ail ages; and it is observed, 
that the danger we now have to appre- 
hend, though of another character, is 
equally to be dreaded with that of igno- 
rance. 

Female attainments, however respect- 
able, lose their value from the moment 
they become obtrusive. They do not 
3 



learn for exhibition: a woman's station 
44 is retreat," 

The young student may ask, "then, 
why mast v\e toil to gain knowledge, if 
it is not to be brought into use?"" The 
question seems fair, but the position is 
not tenable. Men rise to eminence by 
their learning; talent often procures for 
them what wealth, unassisted by know- 
ledge, would fail to secure. It is not so 
with females. 

Thus a cultivated mind in woman 
should be "seen, not fdt" Her atten- 
tion is well employed, when she listens 
to the discussions of the learned and the 
scientific. She becomes of high wdrtb, 
if her previous information is confirmed 
by their opinions, and her taste for 
what is good stimulated to continue the 
pursuit. Farther than this she cannot 
go with safety ; nor is it necessary to her 
character that she should make the at- 
tempt. In the most simple affair that 
lies unexplained or equivocal, we know 
how greedily human vanity triumphs 
while proving the fact; aud, were this 



ISO 

eagerness limited to a vindication of the 
innocent, supporting moral truths, &c. 
the feeling would be correct. Unfor- 
tunately, these are not always the bear- 
ings by which the self-opinionated are 
intiuenced ! When a love of argument, 
or a desire to display her little know- 
ledge, leads a female into disputations, 
she loses all claim to our respect and 
esteem. For, though the features of 
the human countenance bear their dis- 
tinctive characteristic, by which each 
individual is recognised, and the sta- 
tion appointed them by Providence is 
equally marked and distinguishable, 
there is yet one general attribute in 
the female character for which no sub- 
stitute can be found; and that is 
modesty. 

This word cannot exist with the ar- 
rogant, the vain, or the captious ; and, 
though moral deformities may be dis- 
owned even b$ those who practise 
them, it requires no extraordinary dis- 
cernment to prove, that, whoever dis- 
penses with the (juiet graces of mo- 



rsi 

desty, will infallibly appoint some nil* 
-worthy Substitute to her potet. 

It is obvious Frances Austen upon 
all occasions was disposed to vaunt her 
little knowledge. The checks she 
sometimes received may appear too se- 
vere to those who regard young per* 
sons as playthings rather than compa- 
nions. There should be consistency 
in our manner towards children, if w 
desire them to be rational. Youth is 
confessedly the most lovely period of 
existence; its versatility, animation, 
and thousand varieties, are, to a re- 
flective observer, at once beautiful and 
affecting. 

But. while it is merciful to cherish 
that predilection for present happiness 
which so peculiarly distinguishes this 
season of life, it is by no means neces- 
sary to deceive them entirely. Guard 
them from a too minute knowledge of 
a world, that cannot be scanned with- 
out contamination; inculcate moral 
principles ; and, above all, a scrupu- 
lous love of truth. There will occur 



in the live* of the young incidents 
that fully illustrate the advantages of 
integrity, the value of truth, the ne- 
cessity of possessing in themselves a 
right principle of action. 

Now the deduction is clear, that it 
is from one source, and one alone, 
that these can he drawn. Religion, 
at once our guardian and our guide, 
interposes her benign influence; she 
tells us where to hope and what to 
fear; and always leaning with merci- 
ful tenderness to the imperfect nature 
of man. Her wisdom is adapted to 
our capacity; all we have to do, all 
that is required of us, is to carry that 
teachable spirit into our religious in- 
quiries which we so readily make in 
matters of no importance. It is surely 
very little that is asked of us! We 
study a language; acquire its pronun- 
ciation ; attend to its niceties ; and the 
result is we are more competent to 
mix in general society ; may deserve 
and receive applause for our industry, 
and extend our reading. 



J33 

Valuable as every intellectual re- 
source is to those who use them pro- 
perly, they are not efficient in them- 
selves to any lasting purpose; they 
may sooth a languid hour; but will 
they quiet a troubled mind? hush the 
voice of conscience ? or bring us com- 
fort, when the world is fading from our 
view? What these observations con- 
tend for, then, is this: Let the earlier 
studies of the young be more particu- 
larly directed to that wisdom which 
shall make them "wise unto salva- 
tion." 

. It will happen with the mind as with 
the soil we cultivate, that, on some the 
impression will be less profitable than 
on others; the labour, however, should 
not be discontinued. There is an after- 
age, a resuscitation, as it were, in the 
human understanding, which almost 
invariably leads us to revert to our 
Jirst instruction. And it will not be 
denied that it is much easier to resume 
a neglected study, than to contend 

VOL. II. N 



134 

with the difficulties of that which is new 
to us. 

But even here, where knowledge is 
true wisdom, there must be no vaunt- 
ing. Our conduct, the most minute ac- 
tion of our lives, if regulated by the prin- 
ciples of the Gospel, zcill shew themselves. 
In vain shall we look for an example or 
a precept in the sacred Volume, that can 
justify ostentation under any form ; on 
the contrary, it will be found it met re- 
buke from Him who was in all things 
"tfieek and lowly;" who, in his inter- 
course with the ignorant and the un- 
learned, assumed no superiority, but lis- 
tened to the meanest of his followers; 
never reproving where he could spare, 
and, when compelled to do so, always in 
mild though impressive language. It is 
worthy of observation, that, while we 
speak with enthusiasm of the dignity and 
grace of the ancients, and see in their 
actions a something that places them 
above our imitation, the real model of 
all that is truly sublime, is to be found 
in the life and actions of Our Saviour 



135 

during his mission upon earth, Dig- 
nified yet humble in his deportment ; 
graceful but simple in his manner; elo- 
quent without art ; a willing martyr for 
the crimes and errors of mankind; feel- 
ing as a man, yet suffering as a hero. 

In the whole range of those whom an- 
cient history has eulogized, is there one 
among their demi-gods to whom these 
attributes can apply? Impossible i*-~ 
the children of superstition must fade 
before the " light of the world." Then 
let us, who live under the " shadow of 
his wing," the children of promise^ aod 
heirs to immortality, walk steadily in the 
path that is set before us; that as He 
who died, died for all ; so all that live, 
may live to him. 

The anxiety Caroline manifested at 
the infrequency of Marian's letters^ in- 
duced Mr. Austen to address her, and 
enjoin a more punctual correspondence. 
Only two letters had arrived since their 
departure ; one detailing their weary 
passage and great suffering in crossing 
to Calais; and the other expressing 
N 2 



136 

Marian's disgust for the French nation 
altogether. This last, written two days 
after their arrival, when she had scarcely 
walked the length of a street, was but 
too characteristic of the errors into which 
young people fall, when they venture to 
speak without thinking. No mention 
was made of their fellow-travellers. 
This surprised Caroline. She had been 
wearied with Marian's admiration of 
Lady Fanshawe ; but, while Mr. Austen's 
letter was on the road, a third epistle 
from her sister gladdened the young in- 
valid. 

" This is to make amends for past 
negligence," said Mr. Austen, as he 
handed a thick packet to Miss Wilton. 
Caroline broke the seal; and, as she read, 
laughed frequently. " Poor Marian, only 
imagine her indignation," said Caroline ; 
"Lady Fanshawe almost cuts them. 
Hear what she says : ' We are greatly 
disappointed in Lady F. who almost 
shuns us. She has found so rminy of 
her very clear friends here, that she 
cannot rind time to shew us the lions of 



137 

Paris. Is not this provoking, after aft 
the fine things she promised. Mamma 
says we shall do better without her ; in- 
deed, she is rather troublesome as a tra- 
velling-companion taxing all the bills, 
and holding such arguments, wherever 
we stopped ; it was quite shabby !'" 

Mr. Austen smiled. " Marian's ideas 
of shabbiness," said he, "is, as usual, 
erroneous. Lady Fanshawe is used to 
travelling, and knows how necessary it is 
to check the impositions practised upon 
all foreign visitors." 

Caroline turned to her letter. In a 
moment she exclaimed, " Dear me, my 
mamma is ill, very ill, I am sure !" 

Mr. Austen, alarmed at the pallid hue 
that overspread her features, took the 
letter from her hand. " Shall I read it 
to you," said he; " you are alarmed, 
without cause, I trust." 

Caroline begged he would do so ; and 
he began : " Mamma has not recovered 
the effects of the voyage, if I may call it 
such; her head has been poorly ever 
since. 1 persuaded her to see Lady 
N 3 



138 

Fanshawe's medical friend, but she does 
not like him, and thinks she can manage 
herself better than an)' stranger. Do 
not be alarmed, my dear Caroline ; she 
is better to-day; you \vill believe me, 
when I say I am going to dress in order 
to take a lesson from a celebrated danc- 
ing-master. So, adieu, till this grand 
effort is over." 

"You perceive I was right, Caro- 
line," said Mr. Austen soothingly. 

" No no! go on, look at the date of 
the next page," returned the agitated 
girl. Mr. Austen obeyed; but, as he 
glanced his eye over it, he caught the 
infection of her fears, and endeavoured 
to persuade her that it would be advis- 
able to calm her feelings, and not yield 
to an agitation which must injure her. 

"Never mind me," exclaimed she; 
"what are my feelings? think of Ma- 
rian ! O, my dear mother ! pi ay go on !" 

With evident reluctance Mr. Austen 
complied. ' You will be grieved to 
hear our dear mamma has been seriously 
unwell; I kept my letter back, -homing I 



139 

should be able to say she was decidedly 
better ; but indeed, my dear Caroline, 
I thought we should have lost her. She 
was suddenly attacked by a pain in her 
head, which caused insensibility for some 
hours ; her attendants will not allow me 
to say she had a fit, but I shall always 
think so. She has no idea of the 
time she was ill, and I am ordered to be 
silent on the subject. She passed yes- 
terday free from pain, but very low, and 
talked of you whenever she could exert 
herself to speak. To add to my dis- 
tress, Foster, without saying a word to 
us, has engaged herself to Lady Fan- 
shawe; and, though 1 said all I could to 
make her rema'n till mamma was suffi- 
ciently recovered to exert herself in pro- 
curing a person to fill her place, I could 
not prevail on her to stay. She quilted 
Paris this morning with Lady F. who is 
going to Pisa. What an ungrateful, 
creature is Foster ! I have been fortu- 
nate in meeting with, a kind friend in a 
stranger, a Mrs. Cuthbert, the sistei 
of Sir John Clare. You heard Douglar 



140 

speak of him ; he is D 's guardian. 

Mrs. Cuthbert happened to be at the 
same hotel, and most kindly came to 
me, when she heard of mamma's illness. 
Her \vornan is at present with me, and 
I find her very intelligent and active. I 
wish we were all safe at Mount Wilton : 
this trip has not answered my expecta- 
tion. God bless you, my dearest sister ; 
you may rely upon my giving you faithful 
accounts of our dear mamma. Remem- 
ber me to Mr. A. and Frances; and be- 
lieve me your 

Unhappy, but affectionate sister, 

MARIAN WILTON.'* 

Mr. Austen did indeed sympathize 
with Marian : he contemplated her situ- 
ation with horror. It seemed more than 
probable, from the precautions suggested 
by her medical advisers, that Mrs. Wil- 
ton had experienced a paralytic attack, 
in which case a second fit might be ap- 
prehended. To appease his interesting 
charge, he addressed Mrs. Cuthbert, so- 
licited from that lady her opinion of 



141 

Mrs. Wilton's disorder; and at the 
same time announced his readiness to 
hasten to Paris, if his presence was ne- 
cessary, or desired by the party them- 
selves. 

All that friendship and affection could 
devise for the consolation of the anxious 
Caroline, was spontaneously afforded 
her by Mr. Austen and MJSS Colville. 
It was now she felt, and gratefully ac- 
knowledged, there was a peace "which 
the world cannot give. " Her late read- 
ing, aided as it had been by the con- 
templation of characters whose actions 
were founded on this (i rock of ages," 
this happy association of principle and 
practice, produced on her teachable spi- 
rit the best results. It was not in nature 
that a daughter so circumstanced could 
feel at ease; tier heart would palpitate, 
and her cheek betray the state of her 
mind, as the postman's arrival caught 
her ear. But no petulance, no reproach, 
escaped her lips. "Marian might wot: 
be nble to write; perhaps to-morrow 



142 

ight bring the letter she hoped yet 
dreaded to receive." 

Too much praise could not be given 
to a young person thus sedulously de- 
termined to aat up to the rules she had 
prescribed for herself. Mr. Austen de* 
voted his time to her; while Miss Col- 
ville, with affectionate zeal, beguiled 
many an hour of suspense by cheerful 
conversation, and such judicious changes 
of occupation as were best calculated 
to calm and sooth her mind. Nor did 
Frances fail to evince her interest for 
the unhappy Caroline. Her attentions 
were appropriate and constant. Caro- 
line could not look, but she was ready 
to execute her wishes. Thus she proved 
that the offices of sympathy apply to 
every age; and, where they flow natu- 
rally, are evidences of the right bias of 
the mind. 

A third and more satisfactory letter 
from Marian, led the family in Harley- 
street to hope that the worst was past 
The same humility that had supported 
Caroline under the most painful of all 



341 

feelings* suspense, now led her to ex- 
press her gratitude in lively but chas- 
tened language. 

But, in these strong appeals to her 
weakened constitution, the young suf- 
ferer was imperceptibly losing strength. 
Her physicians, w'nh concern, lamented 
she should be exposed to such trials. 
It was therefore planned that, in future, 
all letters should be deposited in the 
library; Mr. Austen taking upon him- 
self the right of opening such as were 
for Caroline. As she acquired compo^ 
sure, the absence of Lady Jane excited 
her surprise. "Do you think she can 
have heard of my mother's illness?" 
said she, while listening to an account 
of a party which Miss ColviJle read to 
her, and in which her ladyship was 
named. 

"She has, my dear Miss Wilton/ 1 
replied Miss Colville; <fc and she has 
called or sent every day to inquire after 
you. I did not mention it, thinking it 
might be advisable to avoid every thing 
that called for exertion in you. 1 ' 



141 

"1 beg sJie may be admitted when- 
ever fche calls/' said Caroline; "Ij 
would not lose an opportunity of seeing 
her while I can see any one." Scarcely 
had an hour elapsed when this privileged 
visitor arrived. Seizing the permission 
so flatteringly accorded, Lady Jane en- 
tered the room, carrying in her counte- 
nance that pleasant and pleasing exhibi-j 
tion of urbanity which the warm-hearted,; 
and they alone, feel and bestow. 
. "I have thought of you often, my 
dear Miss Wilton," said she, kindly i 
pressing her hand. " May it please God 
to restore your mother to health ! Your 
last accounts are very favourable. Poor 
Miss Marian, what a painful situation! 
must hers have been !" 

Caroline returned the pressure; and,} 
as she made room for Lady Jane on the 
sofa, detaining her hand, she said, 
* 4 You are so good, so very kind to me, 
I cannot thank you as I should do; but 
I feel your kind attentions, and value 
them/' 

Lady Jane parried these acknowledg- 



145 

ments, which, like every effort now made 
by the emaciated Caroline, produced a 
sensibility in her frame at once beautiful 
and affecting. 

"We have been very active in your 
service, my love," said Miss Colville, 
addressing Lady Jane, and producing 
several pairs of lamb's-wool shoes: 
u These are Miss Wilton's performance; 
and here are some muffettes of Miss 
Austen's." 

Lady Jane was delighted ; and as- 
sured her coadjutors that their labours 
would be most acceptable to the party 
for whom they were intended." 

Caroline, after a little hesitation, 
asked " if it was fair to inquire who 
the party were?" and added, " that Miss 
Colville had declared she was not at li- 
berty to explain without her ladyship's 
permission." 

" Why, perhaps it would be as well 
if I were the narrator here," said Lady 
Jane, laughing; "for Miss Colviile has 
a strange way of telling some tales. Did 
you never detect her speaking in the 
superlative where her favourites are 
concerned?" 



146 

"Oh no," replied Caroline; "no, 
indeed you are mistaken ; for often, 
when I say you are quite perfect in every 
respect, she will not allow I am right." 

" I rejoice to hear she is so much im- 
proved," said her ladyship. "Now, 
Miss Austen, how shall I open iny little 
story ? One fine summer-evening; 
that wont do ; for I remember it was a 
very dull foggy morning, as my poor 
flounces could have attested, had they 
been as sensitive as the fingers that 
worked them: well then, I must simply 
preface my true story by a common fact. 
My father had complained that our 
sugar spoiled the tea; we changed our 
grocer: still papa complained. I took 
it into my head that I had seen some 
very good-looking sugar at a shop in 
Duke-street, and thither my aunt and I 
drove. While I was acting Mrs. House- 
keeper, a person neatly dressed spoke 
two or three times to one of the men. 
He took no notice of her, but seemed 
entirely devoted to his better dressed 
customers. At length she addressed the 
man who was attending me, and inquired 



147 

the price of arrow-root- He would 
have been equally tardy, had.. I not de- 
bired him to serve her, as I was not in a 
hurry. The quantity she now named, 
and the evident shame she betrayed in 
announcing it, caught my attention. I 
entered into conversation with her, found 
her intelligent but under great affliction, 
procured her name and address ; and 
next morning ascertained that all was 
correct. My aunt, who possesses some 
power and every disposition to do good, 
soon removed the two sisters to a lodg- 
ing in a belter situation, where their 
front room could be converted into a 
little shop. My acquaintance, as I call 
the elder one, is a widow ; she lost a 
considerable sum of money by trusting it 
in the hands of an unworthy person. 
For the last three years she had sup- 
ported her sister, who, from an acci- 
dent, is nearly bedridden. It was griev- 
ous to hear the invalid express her an- 
guish at being a burthen to her sister; 
who, without such a drawback, was qua- 
lified, and no doubt could procure an 
eligible provision for herself. Since the 



148 

period I have named, we have had the 
satisfaction to see them gradually suc- 
ceeding. We set all our friends to work ; 
my aunt Percival has been indefati- 
gable ; but I find the babies shoes the 
most productive commodity. Mrs. Wai- 
brook is active in her shop ; and her 
manners are so good, it is impossible to 
see her without feeling interested : and 
her sister is so much improved in health, 
as to be able to set up in her bed, and 
employ herself in knitting trifling articles 
for sale. Now, my dear Miss Wilton, 
you have had the full, true, and parti- 
cular account of why I trouble Miss Col- 
ville to work for me ; and the purpose 
to which her industry is applied." 

" How happy you must feel in being 
able to do so much good !" said Caro- 
line, regarding Lady Jane as she spoke 
with the liveliest look of approbation. 

" Think what kind assistants I found, " 
returned Ladv Jane: "I could have 
done very little myself: my aunt takes 
the first year's rent upon herself. It has 
only cost me a few pounds of lamb's- 
wool, and a little wholesome exercise. 



149 

But I had almost forgotten a great ad- 
vantage I have derived from my acquaint- 
ance with Mrs. Wai brook ; a closet, 
that was literally crammed with paste- 
board-boxei, pincushions, card-racks, 
&c. all useless, and many of them out 
of fashion, though in good preservation, 
has been emptied of its contents, and 
the articles conveyed to Mrs. Walbrook : 
she assures me they answer very well, 
and frequently attract young customers. 
My gain is inconceivable. Papa quite" 
congratulates himself that I have at 
length found a place of sufficient dimen- 
sions to receive my last new bonnet, 
which he feared would have been lodged 
at Madame B.'s." 

Frances was not more delighted with 
Lady Jane's story than with the playful 
manner of the relator. Even Caroline 
smiled; and, with the feeling of an invalid, 
envied those spirits which, in reality, 
were only assumed to divert her. Had 
she followed this judicious and reflective 
young person to the apartment of Miss 
Colvilie, and beheld the real sensibility 
she there evinced, the fears she enter- 
o 3 



150 

tained of her recovery, and the zeal with 
which she suggested the kindest little 
plans for her amusement, it might have 
increased her admiration of Lady Jane, 
but would by no means have confirmed 
her opinion of her ladyship's happiness 
at that moment. 

Sensibility has its joys, and they are 
pure ; but it has its sorrows likewise ; 
and, though it is impossible to deny that 
the sympathy of the feeling heart is a 
"solace the suffering must receive with 
satisfaction, it is yet certain we ought 
to cherish these benevolent efforts to 
sooth and ameliorate our situation, 
whether worldly or bodily, with becom- 
ing gratitude. It is true, we are told 
that it is good to " visit the house of 
mourning;" but, as this is not the ge- 
neral practice of the world, we should 
prize those who follow the precepts of 
the Divine Teacher; always remembering 
that those benevolent persons who in- 
terest themselves in the miseries ana 
sufferings of their fellow-creatures, must, 
and do, feel a pang that the thoughtless 
and insensible arc at some trouble to 



151 

avoid. We are bound to meet these 
gentle offices of Christian fellowship with 
the liveliest affections of which our 
nature is susceptible. 

Caroline reserved Mrs. Walbrook's 
story as an amusement for Mr. Austen : 
she knew him to be much interested in 
all that was connected with the character 
of Lady Jane. 

Mr. Austen listened with pleasure 
to the relation; and in the widow re- 
cognised a name familiar to him. " If 
she is the widow of the man I remem- 
ber, " said he, " he was in Mr. Wilton's 
counting-house as head- clerk, and a 
most respectable trust-worthy man. 
I will look into tfais. I suppose Lady 
Jane's first meeting with Mrs. Wai- 
brook, was that I witnessed ?" Miss 
Colville confirmed this opinion. 

' ' Admirable indeed," said Mr. 
Austen, "is the activity and useful- 
ness of such a life ! Yet, my dear 
Frances, I do not express myself thus 
decidedly merely upon the record of 
two or three liberal actions performed 
by this young woman. I have taken 



153 

some trouble, and from unquestionable 
authority;" and he glanced at Miss 
Colville; "and ascertained that Lady 
Jane's benevolence is founded on prin- 
ciple. She is an economist, exact in 
her payments ; and is in the habit of 
reflecting before she commits herself 
even in her charities. It is by this 
justice she is enabled to be generous. 
Profusion and generosity are so often 
confounded by common observers, I 
wish you to consider them well. The 
profuse give without thought, and are 
therefore indiscriminate in their selec- 
tion; but it is not so clear that Osten- 
tation has not some influence on their 
actions. Whereas the generous mind 
preserves an equity in all its exertions ; 
and, by knowing what it can do, it 
does it judiciously. Nay, more; who- 
ever habituates themselves to this truly 
moral self-government, will on prin- 
ciple forego many of those superflu- 
ities which the thoughtless have not 
learned to value at their fair estimate. 
Thus it is plain, that true Liberality 
flows from that generosity which is 
founded on justice." 



153 

"1 understand you, papa/ 5 said 
Frances, blushing; *and I wish I had 
learned to think before I visited the 
Bazaar. But it is not too late to do 
something:" and, turning to Miss Col- 
ville, she added, " I was ashamed to 
tell you that I offered the little case to 
Charlotte Percival in the park yesterday 
morning, but she told me her mamma 
never allowed her to accept presents 
from any one. All my purchases then 
seemed useless, till I heard of Mrs. 
Walbrook : may I send them to her ? 
she might be able to sell them in her 
shop." Her father approved this plan ; 
and Frances was made happy, by his 
promise to take her to Mrs. Walbrook's 
himself next morning. 

"If her husband was in my father's 
employment," said Caroline, "she has 
an undoubted claim upon us ; and, if my 
dear mother was at home, I am sure she 
would gladly acknowledge it ; for every 
body he valued she always felt a plea- 
sure in serving." 

Mr. Austen hoped it would prove, as 
he suspected, the same person ; it then 



would be time enough to consult about 
anv future exertion for her benefit. 

The base ingratitude of Foster excited 
the indignation of Mr. Austen ; and, 
xvhile he with much humour depicted 
the airs and graces this travelling person- 
age would acquire in her tour, he was 
at a loss to imagine what the final station \ 
of such a woman would be. 

Miss Colville thought it highly pro- 
bable she would become a governess. 

This idea was refuted as absurd by 
all the party ; till Miss Colville assured 
them she had good reasons for what she 
had said, having seen two instances in 
which the ci-dtvant lady's-maid had, 
after a Continental ramble, returned the 
accomplished governess. 

" But Foster is so very illiterate," said 
Caroline ; "she speaks so ill ; does not 
know the use of the letter H, and can 
scarcely write legibly." 

"With all this, my dear, the thing is 
not improbable," returned Miss Col- 
ville, smiling: "I had an application 
from a person lately ; her knowledge of 
me was very slight; she was servant to 



a lady whose daughter I had under my 
care for a short time ; she wrote to me, 
and requested that I would be so good 
as to recommend her as a nursery-go- 
verness to a family I knew. It is true, 
there was a postscript to this letter, which 
begged me not to say I had ever known 
her as a servant." 

"A nursery-governess is not of so 
much consequence," said Caroline; 
" though still I must think there is some- 
thing very courageous in such people 
thinking themselves qualified to teach." 

"The nursery-governess, on the con- 
trary, is of the first consequence to a 
child," observed Mr. Austen; "she 
should be intelligent and well-bred ; for 
the habits and future morals of the wo- 
man depend almost entirely on the im- 
pressions she receives in childhood." 

"Just so, sir," said Miss Colville; 
"at present, however, a smattering of 
French, and being able to say the}' nave 
lived in Paris, is sufficient to procure the 
patronage of people one is astonished 
to find so indifferent to consequences." 

Frances was greatly amused at the 



1*0 

idea of Foster's being likely to make 
such an attempt; and adduced many 
proofs of her illiteracy that made even 
Caroline smile. The ingratitude of the 
woman, however, was too flagrant not 
to deserve the censure passed upon her 
conduct. 

Time fled, and Mr. Austen grew ex- 
tremely uneasy at the silence of Mrs. 
Cuthbert. His address to that lady was 
of a nature to claim immediate notice ; 
and, from her voluntary kindness to- 
wards Marian, it seemed improbable that 
she would neglect such an appeal. 

Recollecting that Douglas must ne- 
cessarily know Mrs. Cuthbert, as the 
sister of his guardian, he determined to 
ride over to , and learn if his young 
favourite had lately had any communi- 
cation with Sir John by letter. He had 
scarcely arranged this plan in idea, when 
Mr. Douglas was announced. Mr. 
Austen started, and, perceiving an un- 
usual gravity in the deportment of Dou- 
glas, assumed a lively air, and, thanking 
him for his visit, said, "he had expected 
him all the week/' 



157 

Douglas took the hint, and spoke ac- 
cordingly. "Did Doctor give 
you a paper for me ?" asked Mr. Austen. 
Douglas replied affirmatively. "Then 
bring it," said Mr. Austen, " to the li- 
brary : the ladies know I am a man of 
business ; you shall attend them after- 
wards.'' So saying, he retired, followed 
by Douglas. 

" I have a letter for you indeed," said 
the agitated youth ; " but I fear its con- 
tents are worse than you apprehend. I 
got one by the same post." He pre- 
sented a packet with a black seal, and 
withdrew to a distant part of the room. 

" Poor dear orphans !" exclaimed Mr. 
Austen, while tears flowed unrestrain- 
edly, as he read. The letter was from 
Mrs. Cuthbert, and dated live days 
prior to its receipt. It detailed a scene 
of great suffering. Mrs. Wilton had ex- 
perienced a second attack similar to the 
first; but had recovered it quickly, to 
the surprise of her attendants. Her 
anxiety to reach England had been ex* 
trenae ; and, alter due consultation, it was 
considered that the agitation of hex 
mind would prove more injurious than 



758 

to comply with her wish for removal. 
Mrs. Cuthbert gave up her own plans, 
and accompanied the travellers. Mrs. 
Wilton bore the fatigue with wonderful 
fortitude ; and Marian, at every stage 
that brought them nearer to the sea-port 
at which they were to embark, felt her 
hopes renovated. They reached Calais, 
and made the necessary arrangements; 
when, a few hours before the packet was 
to sail, Mrs. Wilton had another at- 
tack ; and, after two days of extreme suf- 
fering, breathed her last. The only in- 
telligible words she uttered, were an an- 
nouncement that " Mr. Austen was the 
guardian, and would be a father to her 
children ; and that Miss Colville was to 
be made independent, previously to 
taking the entire charge of her orphan 
girls." 

The letter was written at intervals. 
Little was said of Marian, except that 
her feelings were violent, and not to be 
restrained. Mrs. Cuthbert had, by the 
advice of her brother, given the neces- 
sary directions for the remains of Mrs. 
Wilton being conveyed to England, 



159 

where they would wait Mr. Austen's 
further orders. This had been a point 
on which the poor sufferer had felt much 
inquietude ; and the large property of 
the deceased made its performance con- 
sistent in all respects. Mrs. Cuthbert 
promised to take charge of Marian un- 
til she could place her in the care of her 
appointed guardian. Their departure 
from Calais would take place as soon as 
Marian was able to bear the fatigue, &c. 

How this intelligence was to be im- 
parted to Caroline Mr. Austen knew 
iKH; he had much to perform, and the 
least delay would justly be considered 
unkind. To meet and attend the re- 
mains of his late kinswoman to Mount 
Wilton, was an indispensable duty. He 
therefore determined on quitting Lon- 
don immediately. Again poor Caroline 
claimed his thoughts. Douglas saw his 
distress. "I really think, sir," said he, 
" that Miss Colville might suggest some 
plan that would relieve you from the 
pain of breaking this news to Miss 
Wilton." 

" A good thought, Douglas," observed 



160 

Mn Austen ; " but Caroline must not 
see you; I read the tale in your coun- 
tenance before you uttered a word." 

Douglas declared he should be happy 
to avoid Miss Wilton at this moment; 
and added, "that, greatly as he pitied 
her, he considered her sister's situation 
infinitely more distressing. I know," 
continued he, "that Mrs. Cuthbert is 
kind and amiable; that she will take all 
possible care of her, and shew her every 
necessary attention; but poor Marian is 
not a girl to bear her afflictions with for- 
titude ; and I fear, from Miss Wihoir* 
looks, that she has still much to suffer/' 

"I fear so, too, Douglas, " said Air; 
Austen; "yet some favourable symp- 
toms had, in the last few days, rather 
cheered us : this sad, this truly heavy 
affliction, will prove a severe trial." 

Douglas arose to take leave. Mr. 
Austen proposed his waiting till Caro- 
line was apprised of her loss ; but he was 
in haste to depart, having promised Dr. 
to return before rive o'clock. 

"How did you get leave to make this 
visit of friendship?" asked Mr. Austen; 
"I know it is not easily obtained." 



161 

"Mrs. Cuthbert's letter to me so 
strictly enjoined caution on Miss Wil- 
ton's account," replied Douglas, "that 
I would not venture to trust yours to the 
post. Indeed, I felt that you might un- 
guardedly betray your feelings, if sud- 
denly informed of the event; and, upon 
my submitting Mrs. Cuthbert's letter to 
the Doctor's perusal, he coincided that 
the only safe way of procedure was by 
delivering it in person." 

"It was well judged, my dear boy," 
said Mr. Austen; "in considering the 
feelings of others, you have evinced the 
correctness of your own. Make my 
compliments to Dr. , and thank 

him in my name." 

Douglas departed ; and, while Mr. 
Austen was hesitating how to withdraw 
Miss Colville from her charge without 
exciting the suspicion cf Caroline, the 
ringing of the drawing-room bell with 
more than usual haste alarmed him. 
He hastened to learn the cause, when 
Frances, meeting him on the stairs, ex 
claimed, "Oil, papa, Caroline has 
fainted ! she saw Mr. Douglas go away ; 
P 3 



1(52 

and says she is sure something has 
happened, and you are afraid to tell 
her." 

The poor girl had revived, and was 
leaning on the shoulder of Miss Col- 
ville. "Do not be afraid," said she, 
placing her hand in that of Mr. Aus- 
ten ; "I know it all, I am an or- 
phan." 

"Never \vhile / have life," ex- 
claimed Mr. Austen, throwing his 
arms round her. "I am not afraid, 
Caroline; I will not fear to tell a fel- 
low-mortal that * the ways of God 
are not as the ways of man.' He chas- 
tens and tries us, it is true ; but it is to 
prove us. He leaves us not without 
hope a hope that can sooth even in" 
the depth of affliction, the blessed 
hope of a life beyond the grave." 

"Tell me all ; I can bear it now ;" 
said the weeping Caroline. Mr. Aus- 
ten resigned his precious burthen to 
Miss Colvillc, and entered upon the 
mournful detail. 

The orphan Caroline behaved con- 
sistently : her feelings, though acute, 




MISS TV T ILTOX HEARS THE TXEWS OF 
HEU MOTHERS DEATH. 



163 

and becoming a daughter under such 
an affliction, were tempered, and con- 
sonant to the dispositions she had heen 
so anxious to cultivate. Religion 
poured its balm into her wounded 
heart; and, while she retraced the aw- 
ful scene, and in imagination beheld 
the last look of her mother, her gra- 
titude for the protection her sister had 
found in a stranger in this trying 
moment, caused a sense of thankful- 
ness, that tended to mitigate the an- 
guish of her mind. Miss Colville 
seized the favourable opening; and, 
without exacting more than could be 
expected in this iirst stage of sorrow, 
encouraged the young mourner, by 
expressing her approbation of senti- 
ments so suited to the occasion. 

4 'Your sister was most fortunate in 
meeting so kind and useful a friend at 
such a moment," continued Miss Coi- 
ville. "Poor child, we mut all en- 
deavour to command ourselves, when 
she arrives. From you I know she 
will have an example; it will be her 
interest to follow it. I speak from a 



thorough knowledge of your disposi- 
tions, my love, "added Miss Colville, as 
Caroline shook her head; "circum- 
stances have placed you in a situation 
of great importance ; and I am per- 
suaded you will fill it with credit to 
yourself!" 

"If I were able, I should wish to 
accompany Mr. Austen," said Caro- 
line; "but I speak foolishly; had I 
been in health, I should not have been 
separated from my dear mother ; and 
perhaps" 

" Had you enjoyed your former 
health, my love," said Miss Colville, 
"it is most probable you would have 
shared that anguish personally which 
your sister has borne alone. We may 
infer this with certainty, but faither 
than this we cannot safely trust our- 
selves : God wills, and we must sub- 
mit." 

Mr. Austen's departure, which took 
place early in the afternoon, was sen- 
sibly felt by Caroline. His parting 
words, however, were calculated to 
sooth and animate her to look for- 



16,5 

ward to his protection with full con- 
fidence in his affection and care. 

No better mode of breaking this 
news could have been devised, than 
that which the quick sensibility of the 
poor sufferer made indispensable. 

Douglas had no sooner quitted the 
room than Caroline remarked his ex- 
treme gravity of deportment ; his omit- 
ting to speak to any of them ; and the 
haste with which Mr. Austen drew 
him away. She then inquired whether 
Douglas knew Mrs. Cuthbert, and 
proposed talking with him respecting 
that lady. More than once she ex- 
pressed her wonder at Mr. Austen's 
continued absence ; but, when she 
heard the house-door close, and saw 
Douglas cross the street, the whole 
truth rushed on her mind, and pro- 
duced the debility described. 

To the surprise of Miss Colville, 
Doctor W. next morning rather con- 
firmed than diminished those hopes 
which the friends of the young invalid 
had allowed themselves to indulge. 
Aware of her domestic affliction, the 
Doctor wisely gave her a motive for ex- 



166 

crtion, by declaring that her restora- 
tion depended greatly upon herself. 
Caroline looked incredulous : the Doc- 
tor was positive. "I must not be 
contradicted," said he; " my reputa- 
tion is at stake ; and, let me tell you, 
ma'am, the world expects something 
from you." 

" From me, "said Caroline ; " impos- 
sible, sir." 

*' It does," returned Dr. W. impres- 
sively. " The world expects from every 
young person whose heart is pure, and 
whose mind is well regulated, that ex- 
ample which shall help to check the 
progress of moral disease. So, in order 
to avoid self-reproach, I shall see you 
daily while my friend Austen is from 
home." 

Miss Colville expressed her satisfac- 
tion at this arrangement. ** Yes, yes, 
you will be pleased I know," said the 
Doctor, smiling. " You are one of my 
tormentors. I must see or write to Lady 
Jane in the course of the morning; what 
shall I say for you, madam?" bowing to 
Miss Colville, " Her cold is better, [ 
assure you." 



167 

11 Lady Jane will expect to hear from 
me, sir, 1 ' said Miss Colville. 

"No! no," said the doctor hastily, 
"she absolves you from that task just 
now; / \vas to make ray report in per 
son, if possible, if not, by note; and I 
flatter myself I shall carry a more effi- 
cient prescription to her warm heart in 
the report I have to make, than if I were 
to deface a whole quite of paper in a 
merely professional style." 

"Kind, amiable Lady Jane!" ex- 
claimed Caroline, bursting into tears. 
41 Tell her ; but she cannot understand how 
much I love her. Say, if you please, 
sir, that I will see her whenever she can 
with safety do me the favour of calling." 

The Doctor promised to deliver the 
message, and hastened away. It was 
not long before Lady Jane availed her- 
self of this permission : many an hour 
did she sooth which Caroline had in 
idea set apart as a period when all con- 
solation must be obtrusive. She found 
it otherwise. The day that saw her pa- 
rent consigned to the grave was passed 
in the society of this inestimable young 



168 

friend. Lady Jane arrived early, sat 
with her, conversed on her loss, read to 
her, and saw her to her chamber hefore 
she quitted Harley-street. 

Delighted with a friendship so mutu- 
ally advantageous, Miss Colville fre- 
quently left them together ; taking these 
opportunities for talking with Frances, 
whose usual habits had necessarily been 
interrupted by past events. The arrival 
of Mr. Austen and Marian was now 
both desired and dreaded. Quiescent 
from all she had seen and suffered, Ma- 
rian submitted to her guardian's advice ; 
and, upon her arrival at Dover, accom- 
panied Mrs. Cuthbert to her seat in 
Kent, where Mr. Austen promised to 
join, and, without loss of time, conduct 
her to London. 

The disinterested friendship of Mrs. 
Cuthbert had so entirely bound Marian 
to this excellent woman, as to make the 
idea of separation painful. The scenes 
they had together witnessed, and the 
kind yet imposing manners of Mrs. 
Cuthbert, had done more towards calm- 
ing the irritability of her character, than 
can be understood by those who, mis- 



ifig 

taking strong passions for extreme sensi- 
bility, sooth where they ought to reason, 
if not oppose. 

Prepared by this judicious friend to 
act the part of a comforter to her invalid 
sister, in place of agitating her by una- 
vailing violence, Mr. Austen, on his ar- 
rival in Kent, found Marian calm and 
tractable ; not only able to speak of the 
pastwith composure, but, while minutely 
inquisitive respecting the sad office in 
which he had been engaged, though ap- 
propriately touched by the detail, neither 
weak nor unreasonable. 

While Caroline's health remained as 
at present, it was not possible to make 
any arrangements that could break in 
upon the arrangements recommended 
by her physicians: but Mr. Austen ob- 
tained a promise from Mrs. Cuthbert, 
that she would, upon receiving an assu- 
rance that it was convenient, make a 
visit to the Miss Wiltons in the spring. 
They parted with mutual regard, Marian 
engaging to be her punctual corres- 
pondent. 

Now fully persuaded that, however 

VOL. II. Q 



170 

important the guardianship of these or- 
phans must prove in a worldly point of 
view, it would cease to be a trust of dif- 
ficulty, from the improved dispositions of 
the party, Mr. Austen entered upon the 
task full of hope lor the result ; there was 
no alloy, save in the precarious situation 
of Caroline. 

The meeiing between the sisters was 
deeply affecting. One had so much to 
ask, and the other so many particulars to 
relate, had she not been guarded against 
a too full disclosure of facts, made una- 
vailing by events, that Miss Colville 
found it necessary to interpose, and re- 
strain the affectionate inquiries of Caro- 
line ; sosparing both of them ; though she 
did not deny that the time might come, 
when she should rejoice to see them re- 
ferring to this epoch with every recollec- 
tion that could aid their remembrance 
of an affectionate parent. 

The duties that now devolved on Ma- 
rian were of a character well suited to 
her dispositions. Brought forward in 
society at an age when she should have 
been very differently employed, her man- 



171 

ners were more matured than those of 
her sister, but her mind was infinitely 
less cultivated. 

A common observer would have con- 
templated the activity and nonchalance 
of Marian Wilton as the happiest coinci- 
dence that could have associated in one 
so situated : but Marian was the child of 
affluence; and those qualities which now 
procured commendation, would, had she 
been doomed to poverty, exposed her 
to the censure of those very persons 
most forward to admire her. Promi- 
nent in all she did or said, it was usual 
with mere acquaintance to observe, 
" What a delightful girl is Miss Marian ! 
What a pity she is not the elder 
sister, so fitted as she is to take the 
lead!" 

Mr. Austen and Miss Colville used to 
smile at these mi3takes ; for, greatly as 
Marian's foibles were subdued, there 
was much to be done before she could 
deserve even a portion of the praise be- 
stowed upon her. Affliction, by teach- 
ing us the insecurity of those blessings we 
so highly prize, must necessarily tend to 
Q 2 



172 

soften the feelings, and touch us with a 
sense of our dependance. 

This Marian had felt; but, on her, as 
on all selfish dispositions, the impres- 
sion was more violent than durable. 
This was more particularly observable 
when the family became settled, and the 
plan for the future was laid before the 
sisters. Caroline thought every thing 
right, and resolved to act up to the wishes 
of her departed mother. Marian 
conceived that their age did not make it 
necessary that so great a stress should be 
laid upon the employment of their time. 

"It was my mother's dying wish," 
said Caroline; "dear Marian, do not 
breathe a word in opposition. I wish 
I could look back with more satisfaction 
than I confess I do at present ; but in- 
deed we have many causes for regret ; 
we certainly did not always attend to 
the spirit of her injunctions." 

"I do not deny this, Caroline, "return- 
ed Marian ; "only I take a different vie\v 
of the subject. I dare say there are 
thousands more faulty than we ever were, 
only we happen to have more sensibi- 
lity, and think more of it!" 



173 

" I have learned to use that word more 
sparingly," said Caroline; u our sensi- 
bility will be best evinced by endea- 
vouring to fulfil the commands of our 
dear mamma ; and, when 1 see around 
rne friends so competent to aid my at- 
tempts, and so willing to devote them- 
selves to my interest, I must think we 
are fortunate amidst all our trouble. " 

Marian forbore to contend ; but she 
was by no means convinced that their 
situation was so fortunate, or so entirely 
deserved her gratitude. These opinions 
were, of course, spoken ia confidence; 
yet Miss Colville, with regret, perceived 
that Marian could not cordially assimi- 
late with her. She was respectful ; but 
it was a respect that did not court es- 
teem; it was obviously a duty, and not 
at all connected with her real feelings. 
Miss Colville, though not deficient in 
discernment, certainly overlooked the 
ostensible motive of Marian's conduct. 
The time now set apart for study, Ma- 
rian knew would expose her to an ordeal 
for which she was ill prepared. She 
would have been content to rest where 



174 

she was : what was knowledge to one 
who continually heard herself extolled 
as a most delightful young person. 
Was it necessary she should descend 
from this enviable height ; and, if really 
essential, why must her mortifications 
come from one she had treated with too 
much indifference ever to hope that she 
could fcrgive her. 

" Marian, you are very unjust," said 
Caroline, when her sister, vexed with 
her own deficiency on a subject that had 
been proposer!, unguardedly betrayed 
her reason for distrusting the sincerity of 
AJiss Colville; "you do not know the 
woman you traduce ; but she knows you 
far better than you know yourself. In- 
deed she does, though you look incredu- 
lous. It was but yesterday she observed 
to me, that, if you would throw aside the 
false shame that now obscures your 
good qualities, YOU would be a happier 
girl!" 

"Poor Miss Colville," returned 
Marian ; " so she actually thinks I am 
the victim of false shame!" 

"She does," said Caroline ; "but 



175 

not according to your acceptation 
of the term, Marian ! She says 
you are ashamed to do right, lest it 
should look like submission to the 
judgment of others." 

A blush of conviction rose in the 
cheek of Marian. She was thoughtful 
for a moment ; then she observed, " I 
certainly was beginning to like her 

before 1" she paused. "To say 

the truth, I should like her now well 
enough, if we only associated in the 
family-party. But I am certain she 
has such vast notions of what girls 
might, and ought to do, that I am 
persuaded she has a contempt for ail 
who are not like her favourite Lady 
Jane." 

' ' I am quite as tenacious where Lady- 
Jane is mentioned as Miss Colville her- 
self," said Caroline: "reflect, Marian ! 
think what kind attentions I have re- 
ceived from that dear girl. You do 
not kn >w her yet : I wish you could 
study her character impartially ; it 
would do you good." 

Always alarmed when she though 



176 

she had roused Caroline to exert her- 
self too much, Marian took fright at 
the earnestness of her sister's manner ; 
and, without consideration, rushed to 
the apartment of Miss Colville to claim 
her presence. Upon entering the 
room, sheexclaimed, " I have flurried 

Caroline, and " She paused ; for 

Lady Jane was sitting in the school- 
room. Miss Colville withdrew in- 
stantly ; and Marian for the first time 
in her life stood self-accused and 
abashed before her superior. Lady 
Jane's inquiries after Caroline were 
affectionate and minute ; but she ap- 
pealed to one who could not answer 
her. A stranger to the feelings which 
now pverpowered Marian, her ladyship 
was persuaded that some new calamity 
had assailed the orphans; and with 
liyely sympathy besought Marian to 
compose herself, and take comfort in 
the known judgment and warm heart 
of her guardian. Thrown off her 
guard by the gentle language and kind 
manner of Lady Jane, Marian burst 
into tears; and in an inarticulate 



177 

voice said, "I do not deserve your 
sympathy, Lady Jane ; if you knew 
what a wilful creature I am, you would 
despise me." 

" Will you, my dear Miss Austen, 
have the goodness to inquire how Miss 
Wilton is?" said her ladyship, ad- 
dressing Frances. Frances hastened 
to oblige her favourite; thus effecting 
the wish of Lady Jane, which was to 
spare Marian from making a child the 
witness of her humiliation. 

"We are all disposed to wilfulness, 
I fear," contiuued Lady Jane; "but 
the very consciousness you avow, is of 
itself efficient to your cure. My clear 
Miss Marian, believe me, you are con- 
sidered as peculiarly fortunate in the 
connexions you possess; and, should it 
please God to restore your amiable 
sister to health, I think }ou will agree 
with me, that few persons can have 
greater cause for thankfulness than 
yourself." 

"I ought to think so, and I fre- 
quently make the best resolutions, and 
determine to submit to all tl^at is re- 
commended," said Marian ; " but my 



17$ 

feelings get the better of me. 1 wish 
I was like dear Caroline ; she was al- 
ways more tractable ; and now I call 
her quite perfect." 

Lady Jane smiled. " Your sister," 
she observed, "is an excellent girl; 
and I am persuaded she has not a 
friend who more sincerely esteems her 
than myself. Yet I would not hesi- 
tate to tell her that much of her pre- 
sent tranquillity of mind, and happy 
self-command, might with justice be 
traced to Miss Colville's watchful and 
affectionate care of her." 

"Certainly; yes, I allow that;'' said 
Marian ; " she is fond of Caroline, and 
my sister quite adores her ; but I need 
not say to you that / do not stamd 
very high in Miss Colville's good 
opinion." 

" 1 never heard this before, "observed 
her ladyship. If you have taken up 
this idea, in consequence of her having 
at any time controverted your opi- 
nions, or checked your feelings, which 
you aJiow are too quick, surely her mo- 
trve for so doing ought not to have 



179 

been mistaken : we all want counsel- 
lors at times. " 

"Ah! Lady Jane," said Marian, 
half-smiling, " how readily you detect 
my foibles ; yet Miss Colvilie has not 
been my enemy ?" 

"Never, I assure you," said her 
ladyship impressively ; "she is too 
liberal and too discreet to make the 
private concerns of any family a sub- 
ject of conversation. But, my dear 
Miss Marian, will truth be as offensive 
from my lips as from those of Miss 
Colvilie?" 

" I will attend to any thing you 
say or recommend," replied Marian 
ingenuously. 

"You cannot want my advice," 
said her ladyship, smiling ; " you have 
a sister and a friend able to guide you 
in all things. I must, however, vin- 
dicate my earliest and best friend from 
your suspicions ; but I can only do this 
by a reference that may perhaps wound 
you. Forgive me, but do you forget 
that I have more than once been ex- 
posed to the effects of those quick feel- 



1 80 

ings you now lament ? could I want 
information on this point?" 

"No! no," exclaimed Marian, in 
great trepidation ; I remember it well ; 
and have felt ashamed whenever we 
met. You can never forget it ; it is 
impossible you should." 

tl l beg your pardon," said Lady 
Jane, "you compelled me to recal the 
circumstance, by imputing to Miss 
Colville what is foreign to her dispo- 
tion. It is /who should ask forgive- 
ness ; for I have ventured to say more 
than my acquaintance with you war- 
ranted." 

Marian extended her hand to Lady 
Jane, and half-reproachfully observed, 
"that her ladyship had declared she 
would not hesitate to tell Caroline of 
the obligations she owed to Miss Col- 
ville." 

" I understand your sister's disposi- 
tion, my dear Miss Marian ; and we 
arc in the habit of expressing ourselves 
unreservedly." 

" May I ever hope to be admitted of 
your party r" asked Marian, in a. per- 
suasive tone." ' 



181 

"Why, you may look forward to it, " 
replied Lady Jane with a smile, * * when- 
ever you can confidently assert that 
those naughty quick feelings are in 
some measure subdued. On your sis- 
ter they must have a most serious ef- 
fect ; and, as we are alone, I venture 
to add, that what is called quick feel- 
ing, is an infirmity I do not know how 
to tolerate. There is so much ine- 
quality in the manner and behaviour 
<?f persoii3 of this description, that I 
am more disposed to shun than court 
their society." 

Marian had pledged herself not to 
be offended by any observation of 
Lady Jane; but it is certain this 
inartificial exhibition of her promi- 
nent foible startled her. Besides, she 
did not always call it by so mean a 
terni, it was an unfortunate sensibi- 
lity that had been conspicuous in her 
character even in infancy. She now 
panted to wrest her cherished error 
from the obloquy attached to it by her 
ladyship ; merely, as she hoped, frprn 
her ill-chosen mode of expression. 

VOL. II, ft 



182 

After two or three efforts, she ventured 
an observation in defence of sensibi- 
lity, and declared that, "though its 
possessor was exposed to pains the un- 
feeling could not understand, she 
could not wish herself divested of it 
entirely.'* 

" Certainly not," exclaimed Lady 
Jane ; "sensibility is enjoined as the 
foundation of Christian perfection, 

* Do unto others as you \vould they should do 
unto you/ 

places this quality of the heart in its 
just point of view. We were speaking 
of quick feelings ; they are wholly dis- 
tinct from sensibility: one grieves to 
wound, and is always guarded in its 
language ; the other is unhappily arm- 
ed to assault; but, Iain fully persuaded, 
suffers more in the contest than he 
permits himself to acknowledge." 

Again Marian felt all the folly of 
defending a bad cause; nor did her 
usual facility of language help her at 
this juncture. There was an internal 
monitor, that strongly enforced the 
truth of the sentiments she had so 



183 

anxiously tempted. The question 
was, had she not lowered herself, where 
she had hoped to make a favourable 
impression ? While her feelings were 
thus poised, between the fear of having 
disgusted Lady Jane, and the awk- 
wardness of extricating herself from 
the dilemma, Miss Colville entered the 
room. She brought a good report of 
Caroline, who wished to see Lady 
Jane. " I will attend Lady Jane/' 
said Marian, rising. "Then I am not 
to be of the party ?" asked Miss Col- 
ville, smiling. 

" I will attend you afterwards," S'aid 
Marian, nodding ; "but I have a few 
words to whisper in your ear before 
you join Caroline." Miss Colville 
said "she would await her commu- 
nication with patience," and Marian 
departed with their visitor. She re- 
turned in a few minutes. 

" You have said I am ashamed to 
do what is right, lest it should look 
like submission," said Marian, taking 
the hand of Miss Colville ; " you per- 
fectly read my heart when you made the 
R2 



J84 

observation. I have done you injustice 
ma'am : conscious that 1 never tried to 
deserve your esteem, I thought you must 
represent me to others as unamiable. 
This idea has mixed in every thing con- 
nected with our present situation, and 
caused me more anxiety than I can de- 
scribe. If you will accept this explana- 
tion as my apology for the past, I ti ust, 
under your guidance, that the future 
will be more creditable to myself. " 

To the surprise of Marian, this un- 
reserved and ample exhibition of her 
feelings ovapowered her auditor: Miss 
Colville could not reply for some mo- 
ments. At length, recovering from a 
sensibility as natural as it was appro- 
priate, she threw her arms round the 
softened Marian. 

" To the future 1 look with im- 
plicit confidence," she exclaimed; " an 
avowal like that you have just made, is 
worth ten thousand of those half re- 
solves we are all too apt to make when 
under the immediate conviction of 
error. Rest assured, my dear child, 
that, if 1 have lamented your foibles, it 
has been to those whose influence over 



185 

you might have some weight. I con- 
sider your abilities respectable ; to in- 
sult your understanding, by saying 
they are above what might be expected 
at your age, would justly expose me to 
your contempt. It remains for us to- 
gether to prove that a well-regulated 
mind is a mine of wealth to its pos- 
sessor ; this must be our first object. 
It is easy to please transient visitors, 
whose opinions are founded upon ex- 
ternals : I wish to see the young per- 
son I regard esteemed for what is 
estimable ; most valued where best 
known." 

It was from this memorable day 
Marian Wilton dated that happy re- 
formation in her character, which sub- 
sequently proved so essential to her 
peace. 

Miss Colville's task from this period 
became not only pleasant, but in num- 
berless instances highly amusing; the 
natural cheerfulness of Marian leading 
her on many occasions (in which old 
habits and favourite opinions would 
obtrude), to correct her former self 
R 3 



186 

by the principles she now entirely ap- 
proved. 

This conformity in one so much her 
senior, was an almost necessary cor- 
rective to arrogance in Frances ; who, 
from seeing Marian engaged in pur- 
suits in which she had made some pro- 
gress, might otherwise have triumphed. 

But Marian's ductility, the cheerful- 
ness with which she submitted to the 
rules laid down for her, the quickness 
she displayed in whatever she attempt- 
ed, gave her all the advantage that 
could be desired. The advanced pupil 
stood confessed ; and the lurking vanity 
of Frances was, by the constant evi- 
dence of what application could effect, 
urged to emulate a conduct that de- 
servedly claimed and received the 
meed of approbation. On Caroline, 
the altered character of Marian acted 
forcibly ; her gratitude knew no limits : 
to Miss Colville and Mr. Austen her 
language was warm and animated. But 
Lady Jane's bright example, that almost 
talismanic power by which she frit that 
her own tranquillity had been effected; 



187 

to speak of this dear friend, was her de- 
light. Yet so fragile was the appear- 
ance of Caroline, and so greatly did she 
suffer from all mental exertion, it was 
now necessary to restrain these genuine 
effusions of her affectionate heart. 

Though sensibly alive to the danger- 
ous state of her sister, Marian learned 
to controul her feelings : to Lady Jane 
and Miss Colville she would pour forth 
the anguish of her mind ; while towards 
Caroline she preserved a composure 
truly praiseworthy. Doctor W. was less 
sanguine respecting his patient ; he de- 
sired her removal to the country; and 
the air of Mount Wilton being equally 
salubrious to that of any place usually 
recommended, he rather preferred it as 
the native air of Caroline. 

Mr. Austen feared that the spot in 
which the orphans had so recently 
shared the protection of a parent, might 
prove ineligible for both; but more espe- 
cially for the invalid. From this diffi- 
culty he was relieved by Caroline's ex- 
pressing her wish to go thither. 

Upon this occasion Marian evinced a 



188 

self-command highly commendable. She 
had an invincible dislike to re-visiting the 
scene of their former felicity; and to 
Miss Colville had declared she never 
wished to see Mount Wilton again : 
but, no sooner did her sister decide in 
favour of this dreaded spot, than Marian 
yielded; and with a readiness that con- 
vinced Caroline their thoughts were in 
unison. 

The actual distinctness of their feel- 
ings at this moment was perfectly cha- 
racteristic. Caroline thought she had 
a duty to perform; and to visit the tomb 
of her mother seemed indispensable : 
while Marian, who had attended the bed 
of sickness, and witnessed pangs that 
would yet recur to memory, would gladly 
have been spared the sight of a spot 
which would necessarily renew her grief. 
The value of that sacrifice she now 
made to fraternal love was duly com- 
mended : it is said duly commended ; be- 
cause, though amiable and deserving of 
praise, it is scarcely possible that a re- 
flecting creature can contemplate an ac- 
tion of this kind as extraordinary ; know- 
4 



189 

ing, as every human being must, that 
life presents so many great occasions in 
which we are enjoined to "suffer, bear, 
and forbear*," that, when we assent hum- 
bly to the lesser inconveniences, they are 
in truth no farther estimable, than as 
giving a promise that we shall not shrink 
from those greater trials by which it may 
please Divine Providence to prove us. 

About this time Lady Jane paid a 
farevvel visit in Harley-street. She was 
going on a little tour which would oc- 
cupy a month; after which they were 
to settle in the neighbourhood of Mount 
Wilton, as usual. Delighted to find 
her young friends were to return to their 
former abode, the most pleasing plans 
for their frequent meeting were arranged ; 
Marian in all cases being the projector. 
Lady Jane entered into her views, 
though each glance she directed towards 
Caroline seemed to contradict the possi- 
bility of their being of any long conti- 
nuance. Her ladyship, however, in the 
course of conversation, imparted a cir- 
cumstance that gave pleasure to all par- 
ties. Doctor W. was to be their neigh- 
bour. He had purchased an estate, and 



190 

was about to take possession of it. Eye 
Caroline owned great satisfaction in this 
intelligence ; while Marian, if any scru- 
ples yet lurked in her bosom, was now 
convinced that nothing happier could 
have been devised than the plan at which 
her feelings had at first revolted. 

The preparations for their removal 
were accordingly put en train. Caroline 
seemed interested in all that passed: 
but nothing that concerned others was 
now indifferent to her. Mrs. Walbrook, 
and the inquiries she had intended to 
make previously to her late loss, re- 
curred to her memory ; and she asked 
the advice of Mr. Austen upon the sub- 
ject. 

"I would not trouble you with the 
result of my interviews with Mrs. Wal- 
brook," replied Mr. Austen ; " but, since 
you now desire to hear of her, my dear, 
I can give you a very satisfactory ac- 
count. She is, as I suspected, the wi- 
dow of your father's worthy clerk. 
Upon ascertaining this, she did not he- 
sitate to enter into the exact state of her 
affairs ; fortunately she possessed some 



papers that have produced a sort .of com- 
promise from her treacherous friend ; 
who, finding that she had persons ready 
and willing to support her in taking legal 
measures against him, will in time re- 
store the property he has so unjustly 
misapplied." 

"How glad am I to hear this," said 
Caroline; "but the little shop; does it 
succeed ? does she wish to carry it on ?" 

"She finds it answer beyond her ex- 
pectation, my love," replied Mr. Austen ; 
"and is sincerely desirous of continuing 
in business. With the prospect she now 
has of recovering her property, though 
in snail sums and at distant periods, I 
trust it will not be difficult to carry her 
wishes into effect." 

Caroline now consulted with her sis- 
ter ; and the result was their petition to 
Miss Colville to be the bearer of a small 
proof of their respect for the widow of a 
person of whom they had heard their 
father speak in terms of high commen- 
dation. 

When Miss Colville found that the 
sisters had each inclosed a ten-pound 



note, she communicated the pleasing 
fact to Mr. Austen ; wishing at the same 
time to ascertain whether he thought 
the sum too large. 

lt It is handsome," said he, " but not 
at all too much : the property of these 
dear girls is immense; and the case which 
has called forth their sympathy, is one 
that has particular claim to their notice. 
A commercial man cannot too highly 
prize the integrity of a confidential ser- 
vant ; such was Walbrook ; and I am de- 
lighted to find my charge capable of dis- 
tinguishing what is appropriate. " 

At the suggestion of Mr. Austen, 
Marian and Frances accompanied Miss 
Colville on this errand of pure benevo- 
lence ; Marian premising that she was to 
remain unknown. To obviate the de- 
tection that speaking might produce, 
Marian begged her sister to write a few 
lines and inclose the notes. 

Caroline took her pen, and in the enve- 
lope to the sister's gift tracedthe words fol- 
lowing: -"The Miss Wiltons, with a per- 
fect respect for the laudable exertions of 



Mrs. Walbrook, and a lively recollection 
of her late excellent husband, beg leave 
to present the inclosed. They must ever 
derive pleasure from hearing of the pros- 
perity of Mrs. Walbrook ; but trust she 
will bear in mind that the Miss Wiltons 
possess some power, and can never want 
the inclination, to be useful to the repre- 
sentative of one for whom their lamented 
father always expressed the kindest re- 
gard. 

Harley. street ; 1817." 

Mr. Austen, to whom Caroline sub- 
mitted these few lines, highly com- 
mended their fitness. 

"It requires some judgment to ad- 
dress the unfortunate without wounding 
their feelings," said he; "had you con- 
versed with Mrs. Walbrook, you tvould 
be better able to understand all the va- 
lue of this truly appropriate address; for 
she is a well-informed delicate-minded 
woman. As it is, Caroline, your native 
good sense dictated the style suited to 
the widow of the man you had seen fill- 
ing a station of great respectability. I 
think," continued Mr. Austen, putting 

ypt. ii. s 



Caroline's note into Miss Colville's 
hands, "this will suit your notions of 
delicacy and liberality!" 

Miss Colville perused it with evident 
pleasure: " it is highly judicious," said 
she ; "every way worthy the writer. Ob- 
serve, my dear Frances, your cousin pro- 
perly commends the exertions of Mrs. 
Walbrook : this is judicious ; for, where 
the health of the obliged will permit, 
those who serve them should always en- 
courage industry. Now, Frances, read 
this carefully ; and tell me the two words 
which completely absolve this offer of 
service from every thing like Ostenta- 
tion?'" 

Frances fixed upon the words 'some 
power.' "' Some,' is one," said Miss 
Colville; "but * power' is an imposing 
word, yet happily here softened by the 
preceding term 'some:' look again." 
Frances believed it must be 'regard.' 

"No/' observed Miss Colville; "ac- 
cording to my idea it is the adjective 
which precedes the word you have se- 
lected : by saying that her lather always 
spoke of Mr. Walbrook with the ' kind- 



195 

cst regard/ Miss Wilton has placed tne 
party she wishes to serve exactly where 
they should be placed ; she leaves an 
opening that may safely be embraced, if 
circumstances make it needful, while 
she preserves the relative stations of 
each. Now, suppose she had said her 
father had the ' greatest regard' for Mr. 
Walbrook; this would not have been so 
strictly correct; because, it is most pro- 
bable that their lives exhibited the ne- 
cessary distinctions of deference and 
kindness. I point this out to you, my 
love, to inculcate the practice of writ- 
ing naturally ; and, if possible, to guard 
you against those ill-used and misused 
superlatives so often pressed into the 
service of young scribblers." 

Marian and Frances smiled at this 
hint : it applied equally to both ; while 
Caroline, with a faint smile, declared 
she "had never anticipated that she 
could receive commendation for her 
writing, which had been greatly neg- 
lected." 

The arrival of the carriage separated 
the family for a short time. Mr. Austeu 



took occasion, during their absence, to 
converse with Caroline on some points 
relative to their establishment at Mount 
"Wilton. It was with difficulty he could 
persuade her to listen to his arrange- 
ments. When he spoke of being her vi- 
sitor, Caroline looked wounded, and 
begged him to desist. Mr. Austen re- 
presented that "he should take a large 
family with him; there would be ser- 
vants, &c. and that his character, as 
their guardian, made it indispensable 
that he should observe the utmost pre- 
cision in all plans in which their interest 
was concerned." 

"Then do so without consulting me/' 
said Caroline, impressively; "Jet me 
still feel I am guided by a parent." 

Unknown to all, Miss Wilton now 
addressed Mrs. Cuthbert; apprised that 
lady of their intended removal, and with 
much earnestness claimed her promised, 
visit. One passage in this appeal was 
peculiarly calculated to touch a heart 
like Mrs. Cuthben's: "I am perhaps 
selfish," said the reflecting Caroline; 
4< indeed I feel it is ungenerous to in- 
vite you where you must be exposed to 



197 

the occasional contemplation of suffer- 
ing; but you have made me largely your 
debtor, madam ; and I see no prospect 
of my ever being able to tell you all I 
feel, unless you do me the honour to ac- 
cept my invitation. I have ventured to 
solicit your presence, where, though I 
can no longer be attentive as I could 
wish, you will find a circle devoted to 
your comfort." 

Mrs. Cuthbert did not hesitate a mo- 
ment- her reply assured Caroline of her 
pleasure in the invitation, and her de- 
termination to join the family at Mount 
.Wilton on that day sen'night. 

This little plan was withheld from all ; 
even Miss Colville was excluded; the 
invalid pleasing herself with the idea of 
the surprise she had in store for Marian. 

Miss Colviile and her companions had 
been highly satisfied on making their 
visit of benevolence. Caroline's note, 
though properly prized, had not screened 
Marian. Her likeness to her father was 
detected ; and the first but warm eulo- 
giuin of Mrs. Walbrook so entirely 
suited the disposition of Marian, that, 



193 

instead of checking her eloquence, she 
sat down, and with tearful eyes asked a 
thousand questions; and of one who was 
well disposed to answer her. Nor was 
Frances denied her share in the interest 
of this hour. Mr, Austen's zeal in her 
cause, the assistance he had already af- 
forded, and the prospects that his name 
and authority had opened to her, gave 
Mrs. Walbrook an opportunity to speak 
of him as he deserved. They left the 
widow comparatively happy; while to 
themselves there remained a satisfaction 
so calm, so distinct from those mixed 
feelings with which we look back upon 
an act of mere caprice, that Mr. Austen 
could not' refrain from pointing out the 
beauties of benevolence ; which, like 
mercy, " blesses him that gives." 

By easy stages the travellers reached 
Mount Wilton. To the surprise of the 
party, they there found Doctor W. 
awaiting their arrival. With an amiable 
jinesse he pretended to have been be- 
guiled into admiration of the grounds; 
and, on learning it belonged to friends, 
had determined to wait and see them. 



199 

The watchful care he took of the young 
invalid, and the injunctions he gave to 
those about her, were equally kind and 
judicious. 

Mr. Austen and Miss Cokille pledged 
themselves to act only by his direction. 

Caroline looked anxiously towards 
the assembled group. 

" After one visit to a spot not very 
distant," said she, "you shall find me 
passive as an infant." 

" We will talk of that in a few days/' 
returned the Doctor; "at present rest; 
perfect quiet is essential" 

Caroline, lulled into security that her 
purpose would not be opposed, submit- 
ted to all that was ordered. 

The feelings of Marian were poig- 
nant, as she viewed the apartments once 
her mother's; yet, with admirable self- 
command she avoided all allusions that 
would affect her sister. It was suspected 
that Caroline read herjieart; for more 
than once she observed to Miss Col- 
ville, that "Marian would suffer from 
concealing her feelings." 

The month of April was now some- 



200 

What advanced, and milder than usual ; 
Caroline made her petition to Doctor 
W. ; the air had produced an effect 
common in cases like hers. She ap- 
peared invigorated ; her sleep had been 
more tranquil ; and her cough less vio- 
lent. The Doctor assented ; and she was 
permitted to visit the hallowed spot, ac- 
companied by Mr. Austen and Miss 
Colville. Doctor W. limited the time, 
and humanely waited her return. Ma- 
rian, on the occasion, could not conceal 
her emotion; and Mr. Austen justly ex- 
onerated her from a trial that was not 
exactly necessary as a duty, wisely mak- 
ing allowance for that distinct construc- 
tion of mind which causes one to seek, 
and another to shun, the same objects. 
It was with deep and heartfelt gratitude, 
the friends of Caroline contemplated 
their charge after this mournful visit : 
her health did not suffer, and the calm- 
ness with which she spoke of it rather 
justified her assertion, "that she should 
be better now it was over." 

Whatever might have been the esti- 
mation in which the Wilton family were 



Frontispiece to "Ostentation and Liberality. VolJL. 




:MISS WILTON AT HER MOTHERS TOMB. 



201 

held, the orphan sisters now met the re^ 
spect their situation seemed to demand; 
visitors poured in, but Caroline was 
spared all intrusions. True to herself, 
Lady Jane, though absent, had given 
orders that the most rare fruits should 
daily be sent to Caroline : this attention- 
pleased her enthusiastic admirer; she 
was never so happy as when some new 
trait of character permitted her to in- 
dulge her love of talking of " dear Lady 
Jane." 

Mrs. Cuthbert kept her appointment ; 
and, while all but Caroline were wonder- 
ing what visitor could be coming so late 
as eight o'clock in the evening, Mrs. 
Cuthbert was announced. Her presence 
diffused a cheerfulness that was wanting ; 
and her easy and polished manners soon 
made her an object of general interest. 

Though the habits of the Mount Wil- 
ton family were so arranged as to give 
Caroline the power of being amused 
whenever her strength permitted, there 
was yet in the whole plan an evident de- 
sign to avoid ail that v/as frivolous. 
Mrs. Cuthbert saw and warmly ap- 
plauded the fatherly tenderness of Mr. 



202 

Austen. ."I see we must resign this 
sweet young creature," said she one day, 
while walking on the lawn before the 
house; "she is perfectly conscious of 
this, and can even speak of it with a 
pleased composure ; but, would this have 
been the case if you had kept her in a 
state of delusion ? If, by deceiving her, 
you had taught her to consider death as 
so horrible even in idea, that it was ne- 
cessary she should dream over the few- 
days that remain to her, and die at last 
like a heathen." 

Mr. Austen valued the opinion of such 
a woman, and frankly confessed his dis- 
approbation of the deceits so often prac- 
tised ; more especially as truths might, 
from the mild spirit of the Christian re- 
ligion, be so administered as to sooth 
without depressing the sufferer. In con- 
formity to these sentiments, the rector 
of was a constant visitor at Mount 
Wilton; but his presence "checked no 
decent joy;" for him "even the disso- 
lute admired." Caroline frequently de- 
tained him, the willing companion of an 
hour she had pre-arranged as the morn- 
ing-walk of Marian and Frances. From 



205 

these conferences Dr. Mai low always 
retired with increased respect for her 
principles : the tear would stray down 
his cheek, as he related to Mr. Austen 
the fervent but rational piety of the 
fading Caroline. 

Prepared as Miss Colville was for the 
result that seemed hastening, her warm 
heart was sensibly pained at the idea of 
a final separation from one to whom she 
was so tenderly attached. So acutely 
did she feel this in anticipation, that her 
altered countenance at length attracted 
the notice of the invalid. "There is 
something wrong," said Caroline one 
morning, as Miss Colville closed the 
book she had been reading at her re- 
quest: are your friends well? What 
is it, my dear Miss Colville?" Miss 
Colville said "she was anxious about a 
very dear Triend :" and then made an 
effort to turn the conversation. 

"Do I know her?" asked Caroline ; 
an expression of almost sparkling intel- 
ligence lighting her sunken eye. "I 
think I do; but this is very weak, my 
dear, my kindest friend ! Now think 



204 

a little ; suppose Ijhad been so happy as 
to have received my earlier education 
from your instruction, and had grown 
up healthy and strong, w*ould you not 
have felt a conscious pleasure in pre- 
senting me to the world as your work ? 
I know you would ; for 1 know your 
zealous affectionate heart ! Then rest 
satisfied, my dear Miss Colville, we 
must part, that is inevitable. But> 
whatever is good in me; if I have at- 
tained the composure suited to my si- 
tuation, or made any progress in that 
wisdom which shall make me fitted for 
the world to which I am going*, it is 
to you I am indebted ! You first set 
me in the right path ; do not desert me 
at the end of my journey. I cannot 
do without you. It will not be long." 
She paused, but after a iroment con- 
tinued; " I know you will not forget 
me ; but this is cruel : forgive me, it 
shall be my last weakness." 

It seemed as though Caroline had 
had a presentiment of what was to i'ol- 
low ; she rallied once more ; talked 
cheerfully with the evening-party ;-.d;- 



205 

rected Dr. Marlow's game at chess, 
and smiled at Mr. Austen's discom- 
fiture when beaten by his antagonist. 
Only one expression of regret escaped 
her lips during the evening. Lady 
Jane had exceeded the time proposed 
for her return ; and, though she had 
accounted for it to Caroline, with whom 
she corresponded, she half-smilingly 

wished " Lord had not been so 

hospitably received in his tour, as it. 
might have hastened the return of her 
friend. " 

As she took the arm of Miss Colville, 
and was retiring for the night, she re- 
minded Marian that there were some 
"daphnes in the green-house which 
would be very ornamental upon the 
marble tables." 

Marian and Frances, as they took 
leave, promised to see the plants brought 
in before she came down next morning. 

The plants filled the places appointed 
for them. Marian and Frances busied 
themselves in arranging and placing 
every thing according to the taste of 
Caroline ; the hour of breakfast ar-. 

VOL, II, T 



20(5 

rived ; they hastened to the apartment 
in which the family always assembled ; 
there they found Mr. Austen, his eyes 
swoln, and his whole appearance be- 
traying the utmost agitation. 

Marian stood aghast. At that mo- 
ment Dr. W. entered the room : he 
checked the words he \vas about to 
utter, and walked to the window. 

"My sister is worse," said Marian ; 
and she was hastening away, when 
Mr. Austen seized her hand, and de- 
tained her. " Better, Marian, beyond 
a doubt; better than any of us ;" he ob- 
served. 

This first shock acted violently on 
the wretched Marian : for some time 
she suffered under a strong hysterical 
affection. As soon as she acquired 
composure she begged to join Miss 
Colville, 

That kind friend now exerted her- 
self for the comfort of others : her 
feelings had sustained a severe trial: 
she had risen to give the invalid her 
usual draught, and found the sweet 
Caroline had escaped from mortal care ! 



207 

She appeared as if in a deep sleep it 
was a sleep the sleep of death ! Mrs. 
Cuthbert and Mr. Austen were sum- 
moned ; and a servant dispatched for 
Doctor W. 

It was of no avail ; the gentle suf- 
ferer had apparently been favoured in 
her last moments ; her countenance 
was placid, and even wearing a smile, 
as though rejoicing at her release. 

The grief of Marian, though poig- 
nant, was in no wise obtrusive : she 
saw and felt how deeply her beloved 
sister was mourned. This conscious- 
ness, while it claimed her gratitude, 
was in itself effectual to enable her to 
restrain her feelings. To talk of Ca- 
roline ; to hear her commended ; was 
her only pleasure. It became neces- 
sary, in order to attain this melan- 
choly satisfaction, that she should avoid 
every thing that could check the spon- 
taneous tributes of affection which 
now soothed her wounded heart. This 
self-command proved salutary, and 
contributed much to the future hap- 
piness of Marian. It was during this 
T a 



208 

period she was obliged to be present 
when business was transacting. Mr. 
Austen drew her attention to this sub- 
ject, conceiving it to be desirable that 
one who stood almost alone in the 
world, and who possessed so large a 
property, should not only understand 
the uses of money, but the abuses to 
which riches are exposed. 

Miss Colville, upon reflection, had 
learned to agree with Mr. Austen, that 
Lady Jane's absence was in every 
point of view fortunate. 

"We know," said Mr. Austen, 
"she would have taken a deep interest 
in our poor Caroline's situation, and 
might have been a sufferer in conse- 
quence. I do not think it fair, unne- 
cessarily to involve young persons in 
scenes of this nature ; where they want 
feeling, such a lesson may be benefi- 
cial ; where they do not, it is well to 
spare them; for the truly benevolent 
heart never spares itself." 

The return of Lady Jane was anti- 
cipated by all parties with pleasure. 
She had been apprised of the demise 
of Caroline, and had written to Miss 



Colville ; but Marian, who now re- 
garded this beloved friend of her sister 
as the person from whom her chief 
consolation was to come, longed anx- 
iously to behold her again. At length 
Lady Jane arrived at Bloom-hill, and 
on the following morning hastened to 
Mount Wilton. Marian, who had 
been courageous in idea, lost all power 
as she rose to meet her ladyship. 

Lady Jane threw her arms round the 
poor girl ; not a word was said ; but 
from that moment their friendship* as- 
sumed a decided character. Marian 
looked up to her friend, most hctppy to 
be considered worthy the place her 
sister had held in the affections of Lady 
Jane. 

Mr. Austen proposed a change of 
scene to Marian, thinking she might 
desire it ; but, the pang of separation 
once over, Marian soon learned to 
value the spot as made sacred by past 
sorrow. 

There were moments when Marian 
felt she was yielding; and that, in cases 
where she prided herself on her consis- 
T 3 



210 

tency or firmness: the ease with which 
she now resigned her opinions would 
sometimes surprise even herself. At 
one moment she believed it was the re- 
collection of dear Caroline's example, 
or some remembered injunction of that 
beloved sister. Lady Jane and Miss 
Colville had their due share of invisible 
influence ; but Marian quite overlooked 
the active principle within; that teach- 
ablespiritand meeksubmission which, by 
softening her heart, prepared her for 
the admission of all that was good and 
desirable. So completely did example 
prevail, that Marian conquered her 
dread of visiting the tomb that had so 
lately received all that stood in near 
connection with her. She heard that 
Lady Jane and Miss Colville frequently 
visited the spot, that Mrs. Cuthbert did 
the same : an affectionate tenacious- 
ness now clung to her feelings; she was 
jealous that others should know and 
speak of a spot, that must be dearer to 
her than to any of the party. She made 
the attempt, and succeeded. Frances 
was her companion; but, though the ef- 



211 

fort was attended with pain, and had 
momentarily awakened scruples she had 
tried to subdue, Marian persevered ; 
and soon wholly resigned a weakness 
that never stands atone in any cha- 
racter. 

Those encouragements to well-doing 
usually held out to the young, were now 
almost inapplicable to her. She had no 
immediate, competitor; therefore emu- 
lation was out of the question; there 
was no cheating her into her duties; nor 
any way of rewarding a girl of her pre- 
mature understanding. 

All this was happy for Marian: she 
had tasted the real fruits of well-doing 
in the peace it had procured to her own 
mind ; she had seen, and felt, how warmly 
Caroline had approved the late change 
in her conduct and habits: the inferences 
therefore were obvious. "I am no 
longer a child," thought Marian ; "my 
former inattentions may make directions 
and advice more generally necessary with 
me than with most girls of my age ; but, 
if I have not learned to love virtue for 
its own sake, and despise vice upon the 



same principle, I have profited little by 
the zealous kindness of my friends." 

Time softened her grief, without im- 
pairing those recollections so suited to 
creatures appointed to die. Marian at- 
tained a place in the esteem of Lady 
Jane Milner; and Lady Jane continued 
to be the model by which Mr. Austen 
hjoped to fashion his own daughter. 
Frances gave some promises that greatly 
sanctioned this desire of her father's : 
that Miss Colville entirely anticipated 
such a result, is not asserted. Lady 
Jane, according to her nomenclature, 
might inspire emulation in many, and 
the desire to reach such a point was com- 
mendable ; but, greatly as she applaud- 
ed and encouraged every proof of self- 
command in her present pupils, Lady 
Jane had displayed, even from infancy, 
a singleness of character that shewed it- 
self in her every word and action. In 
her learning, it produced superiority; 
because, whatever she attempted, she 
endeavoured to do as well as possible: 
to her duties, it gave that active energy 
which, without otfidousness, made her 



services doubly delightful. Lively, and 
full of animation, she was exempt from 
those giddy interregnums which so often 
step in between good sense and good 
taste, and, by the introduction of a few 
smart observations, wound the good 
feelings of the better regulated mind. 
She would not lend her voice on these 
occasions ; no, nor even an assenting 
smile. That love of argument for 
which Marian had been remarkable, 
no longer deformed her character; 
though she would playfully declare to 
Miss Colville '* that she felt a strong 
inclination to resume her neglected ora- 
tory, in order to prove that Lady Jane 
Milner was perfect." At these times 
Frances always lent her assistance ; 
and, as their united zeal usually brought 
the seniors of the party to add something 
that favoured their cause, they were fre- 
quently, as they thought, upon the eve 
of a triumph, when some unlucky "if" 
was inserted that discomfited both. 
' ' Perfection is not to be found in this 
life, my dear girls," said Mrs. Cuth- 
bert, one evening when Marian and 
Frances were debating on the merits of 



214 

their favourite. " Let us for a moment 
imagine that any human being could 
think himself perfect ! the period from 
which he took up this false idea, would 
be that in which he would instantly be- 
gin to fall from his mistaken elevation. 
Perfection implies, a climax, a point be- 
yond which we cannot advance; and, 
to pau^e even in virtue, is to go back. 
I commend and respect the liberality of 
your sentiments as connected with Lady 
Jane ; she is amiable, unaffected, and 
modest; yet I should be sorry to think 
that she, or any person of her age, pos- 
sessed not in themselves those aspirings 
after moral excellence that lead to per- 
severance in what is right." 

Marian sighed, and s,a'd, "If you 
can speak thus of such a girl, what 
must others think of themselves?" 

. "When they think and feel as you do 
at this moment," replied Miss Colville, 
" good example will always have its 
proper effect ; and believe me, my dear 
Marian, that while humility is thesuper- 
structurc upon which moral excellence 
is founded, so is it the perfection of all 
attainment?. We cannot err in being 



just to others; but, even in our praise, 
we should endeavour to preserve that 
reasonable tone of language which shall 
express what we mean, and no more. 
From me, you might he led to think this 
caution equivocal, as the ohject you so 
highly estimate is deservedly dear to me ; 
but you may remember, I never encou- 
raged you to regard mv former pupil 
above her merits." 

" Yet she must he, she is, superior to 
most girls of her age!" returned Ma- 
rian. 

"This I admit in part, " said Miss 
Colville, smiling; "and, if I were asked 
what were the advantages she possessed 
over others of equal ability, 1 would 
say it was her uniform desire of know- 
ledge, her conviction that mediocrity 
was often mistaken for perfection, and 
her steady rejection of such a term when 
applied to herself; in short, her just 
conception of the fitness of words gene- 
rally. That such a disposition should 
claim the love of those about her, is 
natural. But the real triumph of Ladj 
Jane is before me," aclded Miss 



216 

ville, taking the hand of Marian ; "yes, 
my dear, she has, without a particle of 
Ostentation, won you to imitate what 
you admired; and, while I highly ap- 
plaud your Liberality, in tracing your 
happiness to its real source, may L add 
that, 

"There is in virtue sure a hidden charm, 
To force esteem, and envy to disarm.*' 



FINIS. 



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